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Sudan displaced tell EU delegation of chronic food, water, services deficit

October 9 - 2019 EL AZAZA CAMP
Koen Vervaeke, Managing Director for Africa in the European External Action Service at a meeting in Khartoum (Photo: EU in Sudan)
Koen Vervaeke, Managing Director for Africa in the European External Action Service at a meeting in Khartoum (Photo: EU in Sudan)

Leaders and residents of El Azaza camp for displaced people in Blue Nile state have complained of a shortage of food, water, health and educational services, during a meeting with a visiting delegation of the European Union, that today concluded a visit to discuss EU support for Sudan.

Azaza camp resident Mawahib Ahmed told the high level delegation from the European Union, chaired by Koen Vervaeke, Managing Director for Africa in the European External Action Service, that life in the camp is very difficult, where women do not find their simple needs, forcing them to practice the hard work of agriculture and harvesting crops, besides working cleaning houses for low wages from the early in the morning.

This has negatively affected the health of children and the suffering of many of them and malnutrition, she said.

Sheikh Bambas Magor explained that many have been displaced to El Azaza since 2015. They were compelled to sell their livestock to be able to move from war zones to safer areas.

He said that the World Food Programme has been providing food for the displaced since then, but the challenge remains insufficient food for a full month compared to the number of family members, calling for accelerated steps to achieve peace to enable them to return to their areas.

According to a statement via social media by the EU delegation in Sudan, the visiting European delegation chaired by Koen Vervaeke met with various Sudanese political parties, the Forces for Freedom and Change, ministers and officials of the interim government, youth and women leaders, human rights defenders, as well as regional and international partners.

The purpose of the visit was to identify and discuss future areas of EU support for Sudan in the next transitional period.

New Head of Delegation

As reported by Radio Dabanga last week, the designated Head of Delegation of the European Union in Sudan, Robert van den Dool, arrived in Khartoum on October 2.

A statement issued by the EU Delegation in Khartoum says that after presenting his credentials to the Interim Sovereign Council of Sudan, Ambassador Van den Dool will begin his mandate to improve Sudanese-European Union relations.

New Head of Delegation of the European Union in Sudan,
Robert van den Dool (Picture: EU)


The 54-year-old career diplomat from the Netherlands has been serving in the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs for 28 years, and is specialised in macroeconomics, development, and public finance management.

He previously served as Dutch Ambassador to South Sudan and Ivory Coast, and during his career has also been posted to Mozambique, South Africa, and Zambia.

EU support for Sudan

On August 17, delegates from the EU joined international representatives to witness the signing of final documents in Khartoum sealing the political agreement reached between the Transition Military Council (TMC) and Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) and the Constitutional Declaration regarding the Transitional Authority.

After the signing, the spokesperson for the European Union, Maja Kocijancic, said in a statement from Brussels that “as an expression of strong political support, a number of international partners including the EU signed the transitional agreement as witnesses. The conclusion of this agreement is the result of long negotiations between all sides, with the strong engagement of the African Union and Ethiopian mediation, and represents an important milestone for Sudan on its path towards peace, democracy and prosperity.”

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