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Sudan bulletin No. 17 - 29 October 2004

29-10-2004 Operational Update

Report on ICRC activities in the field since the previous bulletin of 22 October

 General Situation  

A new camp - El Sereif - has been opened on the outskirts of Nyala. Some 14,000 people are expected to move there voluntarily in order to relieve the nearby overcrowded camp of Kalma. The general health of the displaced population seems to have stabilized for the moment.

There are growing rumours of a new rebel movement emerging in Western Kordofan, between Darfur and Khartoum. If true, that area could be drawn into the conflict. In the meantime, the situation in southern Sudan remains calm, despite inter-clan tensions.

 ICRC ACTIVITIES  

    

 Assistance  

Food aid continues for vulnerable people. In brief: over 14,500 individuals have received food aid in Northern Darfur and over 5,000 in Southern Darfur (including 98% of the families in Gereida); further assessments have been carried out in over 600 households in places such as Al Geneina, Silea, Kulbus and areas around Zalingei; non-food aid also continues to be distributed; in Malakal - in southern Sudan - fishing tackle has been distributed as a means to generate income.

    

 Restoring family links and tracing  

The ICRC continues to expand its tracing network in Chad and Darfur. In the past week, 175 new requests to locate family members were received in Chad. The number of Red Cross messages (brief personal messages to relatives made unreachable by conflict) being sent to people in Sudan is steadily increasing.

The ICRC has enabled 26 families in Northern Darfur to restore contact with their relatives currently in Chad. In Western Darfur, 80 families are in the process of doing so.

Sixteen unaccompanied children have been newly registered in camps in Chad, while 16 others have been registered in Western Darfur.

 Water and habitat  

    

The ICRC continues to build and repair/upgrade water-supply facilities throughout Sudan, sinking wells, constructing water-treatment plants, drilling boreholes, installing tanks and laying pipelines. Regular surveys are carried out to ensure that existing pumps, windmills and generators remain in service, taking water to the people who need it.

Access to safe water by hospitals, camps for displaced people and overcrowded urban areas is improving daily.

All these activities are conducted in conjunction with local authorities. As always, they exemplify the ICRC’s needs-based humanitarian strategy, demonstrating the practical value of its neutral approach.

 Preventive action  

    

Work to promote knowledge of and compliance with internation al humanitarian law remains a pillar of ICRC activities throughout Sudan. Community and religious leaders, local authorities, government officials and bearers of weapons from different parties have attended a number of ICRC information sessions held in different locations. These generally focus on ICRC activities, codified humanitarian law and customary law.

 Cooperation with the Sudanese Red Crescent and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement  

    

The ICRC continues its cooperation with the Sudanese Red Crescent to promote humanitarian work by the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. Representatives of the British, Danish, Norwegian and Swedish Red Cross Societies have been present in the field to assess their organizations’ activities and the potential for other projects.

 For further information please contact:  

 Virginia de la Guardia, ICRC Khartoum, tel. +249 9 121 377 64  

 Yves Heller, ICRC Yaoundé (for Chad), tel. +237 222 58 59  

 Marco Jiménez, ICRC Geneva, tel. +41 79 217 3217