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UNHCR Darfur office head: 'Conditions in Sudan have improved'

December 6 - 2020 IRIBA / PARIS
Darfuri children in Touloum refugee camp in eastern Chad (file photo)
Darfuri children in Touloum refugee camp in eastern Chad (file photo)

The head of the Darfur office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said that conditions in Sudan have improved overall on Thursday, meanwhile France announced 1 million to support the country following a significant influx of refugees into the country from Ethiopia.

The UNHCR Darfur office head said that conditions have improved since the fall of Omar Al Bashir, the signing of the Juba Peace Agreement, and a significant improvement in security policies in the region.

During his visit on Thursday to the Iriba region in eastern Chad, which hosts 12 camps for refugees from Darfur, he said he has been assured that refugees wish to return voluntarily to their residences in Sudan. He called for authorities listen to issues raised by refugees in camps in order to gain a holistic understanding of the situation in Sudan.

Badawi Bahreldin, protection officer at the Sudanese Refugee Commission in Darfur and head of the visiting delegation, said that the visit came at the request of refugees in the camps.

Bahreldin praised the “great role” of the Chadian government in hosting Sudanese refugees, along with providing food, health, and education services.

The number of Sudanese refugees in camps in eastern Chad is about 35,000, according to the statistics of the Sudanese Refugee Commission and the UNHCR.

French support

On Thursday, France announced the provision of €1 million to support Sudan in programmes which aim to address the influx of refugees to Sudan.

Over 47,000 refugees have arrived in Sudan’s Kassala, El Gedaref, and Blue Nile states since civil war broke out in the neighbouring Tigray region in Ethiopia.

French President, Emmanuel Macron, will organise a global economic support conference in the second half of next year in Paris to support Sudan and all parties involved in the consequences of the conflict, including the private sector, according to the statement.

Eric Chevalier, Director of the Crisis and Support Centre at the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, accompanied the European Union for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič, to Sudan this week. Chevalier said that he was in Sudan to assess the current situation, and also to show that Europe is united in its support of the transitional government of Sudanese Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok and that France is committed to its support the country in fulfilling its “previously announced obligations”.

He said that Europe appreciates Sudan’s reception of refugees fleeing conflict in Ethiopia, reiterating his support of the Sudanese government and the efforts of people to overcome the challenges of the transitional period.

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