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UN: ‘More than 87,000 displaced from Jebel Marra in North Darfur’

February 24 - 2016 TAWILA
UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan, Marta Ruedas, visits new displaced in Tawila, 22 February 2016 (OCHA Sudan)
UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan, Marta Ruedas, visits new displaced in Tawila, 22 February 2016 (OCHA Sudan)

On Monday, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan, Marta Ruedas, visited a number of newly displaced from Jebel Marra in Tawila in North Darfur.

In a press statement today, she expressed her deep concerns “about the plight of over 85,000 newly displaced civilians in North Darfur, civilians who have fled their villages in recent days and weeks as a result of an escalation of conflict in the region’s Jebel Marra area.

“Seeing hundreds of women and children in Tawila and speaking to the local authorities there very much brings it home: that civilians continue to bear the brunt of conflict every day and their protection is our paramount concern,” the statement reads.

Ruedas states that the UN, international and national organisations, and the Sudanese Red Crescent Society are delivering assistance, “but the massive influx of new arrivals in recent days has put a strain on what was an already logistically complex operation”.

“To date, the UN and partners have not been granted access to key locations reportedly affected by civilian displacement in Central Darfur, despite reports of wide-scale movement of people and potential emergency need.”

She pointed to the more than 63,000 newly displaced who took refuge near the Unamid team site near Sortony, where urgent assistance is being provided. A convoy of 11 lorries left El Fasher yesterday for Sortony with more aid, including food.

The UN coordinator noted that the influx has been greatest in Sortony. “[..] initial reports indicate that civilians who had fled into Central Darfur State when hostilities broke out mid-January then travelled into North Darfur State to receive aid, as they were unable to access relief in Central Darfur.

“To date, the UN and partners have not been granted access to key locations reportedly affected by civilian displacement in Central Darfur, despite reports of wide-scale movement of people and potential emergency need.”

As of 20 February, and according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), there are 22,261 newly displaced in Tawila, of whom 18,974 are verified, and 63,223 newly displaced in Sortony, of whom 41,530 have been registered.

According to the Sudanese NGO, the Kabkabiya Smallholder Charitable Society and Oxfam International, there are also 2,018 displaced people in Kabkabiya. This brings the total of displaced in North Darfur as a result of the recent Jebel Marra hostilities to 87,502, the statement reads.

“The UN calls for immediate, safe and unfettered access to all people in need, wherever they may be located, so that affected people can receive the humanitarian assistance they require. In particular, the United Nations urges all parties to the conflict to allow the UN and its partners to reach displaced people in Central Darfur”, Ruedas concludes.


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