West Darfur violence: UN Humanitarian Coordinator reminds stakeholders of duty to protect civilians
The UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan, Khardiata Lo N’Diaye, has reiterated the commitment of humanitarian partners to support thousands of people displaced by violence in parts of Kereinik and El Geneina, after her visit to El Geneina, capital of West Darfur. “Humanitarian partners will continue to provide humanitarian assistance and support thousands of people who were displaced by violence and insecurity in parts of West Darfur over the past few weeks,” she said.
Lo N’Diaye, accompanied by the heads of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), representatives from the World Food Programme (WFP), and the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) visited a gathering site in El Geneina hosting some of the people who were displaced from Kereinik since April, and a group of nomads outside of El Geneina town where they interacted with people displaced and affected by the conflict, and heard their stories.
Local authorities in Kereinik reported that about 98,000 people have been displaced by the conflict. At least 165 people were killed and 136 injured during the clashes, according to local authorities.
UN agencies and humanitarian partners continue to provide thousands of newly displaced people and other affected people in Kereinik and other locations in West Darfur with humanitarian assistance, including food, non-food supplies and access to water, sanitation and health services.
In here statement, Lo N’Diaye “reminds all stakeholders of their international legal obligation to protect all civilians, and civilian infrastructure, including health facilities, schools and water systems,” and “urges all parties to the conflict to allow the free and safe movement of affected people in search of safety and assistance.” She also echoed previous calls for an in-depth and transparent investigation, the results of which should be made public and help to identify the perpetrators of the violence and bring them to justice.
OCHA reports that from January to March 2022, humanitarian partners have provided 794,000 of the most vulnerable people in West Darfur with food and other forms of humanitarian assistance. This is equivalent to about 42 per cent of the total population of West Darfur.
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