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OCHA: Up to 115,000 displaced by West Darfur violence

Map of violent incidents in West Darfur (OCHA)
Map of violent incidents in West Darfur (OCHA)

The United Nations Office for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says that between 85,000 and 115,000 people were displaced due to violence in Kereinik, West Darfur. OCHA says in its latest report that a “calm and tense” situation prevailed in Kereinik, West Darfur, during the past five days.

The report indicated that the humanitarian situation in Kereinik, following days of violent attacks that claimed at least 200 lives, more than 130 wounded, and at least three reports of rape, remains a source of great concern due to the lack of security, disruption of basic services, including health centres, and the lack of major relief items.

OCHA said that the priority needs of the affected and the displaced are safe drinking water, food, shelter, non-food items, health services and medicines.

The report stated that most of the displaced are staying near the army camp in Kereinik for protection. It notes that men spend the night under the trees and in the mosque’s courtyard, while women and children spend the nights in communal tarpaulins or makeshift shelters at gathering sites.

The United Nations Office for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that only members of Arab tribes can move freely outside the city of Kereinik, raising concerns about access to services and relief to the communities in Kereinik.

OCHA noted that all commercial and passenger vehicle movements in the area are accompanied by a military escort due to the insecurity and the presence of armed men controlling the main roads outside the town of Kereinik.

It warned that at least 16 villages around the city of Karen were attacked, and the residents of the villages were displaced to the city of Kereinik and other villages.

For its part, the National Initiative for Kereinik announced that the number of people affected by the Kereinik events exceeded 25,000 families, according to initial estimates, noting that the public had resorted to relying on mangoes due to the lack of food as a result of the attack.

Hatem Abdullah from the Al-Quma Initiative for Kereinik said in an interview with the Sudan Today programme on Radio Dabanga that its goals are to contribute to mobilising the local and national Sudanese community to interact with the current humanitarian conditions in Kereinik locality and to help the victims of Kereinik local events.

He stressed the need to pressure the authorities to provide security and protection in all areas, especially Kereinik and its environs. He referred to coordination with the State Ministry of Health to provide a team of health cadres in order to go to Kereinik to operate the hospital urgently.

He noted that efforts to send a technical team to maintain water stations and tanks that were subjected to sabotage and looting, in communication with the concerned authorities, in addition to striving to save fuel for the operation of the hospital and water stations.

He emphasised the start of collecting clothes and non-food items through the initiative, in coordination with neighbourhood committees, mosques and initiatives.

Abdullah said that three cases of rape were reported in the attack on Kereinik in West Darfur, which killed more than 200 people and injured more than 130.

Abdullah pointed out mass looting and vandalism of homes and shops in the market, the hospital, government institutions and the police station, as well as sabotage and looting of water stations, which led to their stopping, and pointed out that there is an urgent need to maintain these facilities and new mechanisms. He pointed out that 65 wounded people have arrived at El-Geneina Hospital, and 29 cases have been transferred to Khartoum, distributed among three hospitals.

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