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Sudan bulletin No. 15 – 8 October 2004

08-10-2004 Operational Update

Latest report on ICRC activities in the field

 DARFUR  

 General Situation  

Further attacks in Kordofan confirmed last week's warnings that the conflict in Western Sudan might be spreading outside of Darfur.

With the end of the rainy season, the beginning of the livestock migration southwards is about to start in Western Darfur. A meeting between community leaders took place last week in Kereinik in order to reach the traditional agreements between the farmers and the shepherds.

In Chad, the security situation along the border in the northern area of eastern Chad remains worrisome. Recent cattle thefts have prompted people to move away from the border. The ICRC is also concerned about the deteriorating environmental conditions that are affecting the resident population of the region.

In the central region of eastern Chad, the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the Red Cross of Chad are relocating hundreds of refugees per day from the overcrowded Bredjing camp to the adjacent and recently inaugurated camp of Treguine. The Bredjing camp had been designed to accommodate 20,000 persons but had recently seen its population rise to over 43,000 people.

    

 Food assessment  

In Western Darfur , the need for food in the area of Seleia is more and more concerning. Food stocks are very low, or non-existent, and most people are surviving on wild food, some early harvest and the little that they have been able to buy. Income generation has declined dramatically. Market prices for sorghum and millet have risen, and many cannot afford to buy meat altogether.

The growth of crops has been stinted by irregular rain, and in some areas, locusts have started to damage the ripening grains. The food shortage is likely to continue until the end of 2005. The need for seeds, tools and food will remain well into the next year, regardless of the evolution of the political situation.

    

 ICRC ACTIVITIES  

 Restoring family links and tracing  

In September, the ICRC collected 3,498 Red Cross Messages and distributed 3,712 throughout Sudan, including in the SPLA-held areas in the South. These messages are too often the only way for family members separated by armed conflict to communicate.

The ICRC is working actively to complete the set-up of its remaining family tracing offices in all of eastern Chad's refugee camps. Conditions are now appropriate for the establishment of tracing activities in the camps of Bredjing and Treguine. Through this system, many families who had found refuge in different camps have now re-established contact.

Since the beginning of its tracing activities in Chad in August, the ICRC collected 413 messages in the refugee camps and sent them to Sudan. In 27 cases so far, the contact could be re-established with separated family members in Darfur and Khartoum.

 Water and habitation  

In the central region of eastern Chad , the ICRC is preparing rehabilitation of several water pumps and generators in need of basic repair.

 Preventive Action  

In Khartoum, a two-day session on international humanitarian law and ICRC activities was organized for thirty high-ranking officers (including three from Syria and one from Jordan) as part of the one-year course at the Sudanese Military Academy - Defence College.

 In September, 2004, the ICRC had 160 expatriates and over 2,000 local staff present in Sudan and 14 expatriates and 47 local staff present in Chad.  

    

 For further information please contact:  

 Virginia De La Guradia, ICRC Khartoum, tel. ++249 9 121 377 64  

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

 Marco Jìmenez, Geneva, tel. ++41 79 217 3217