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Sudan bulletin No. 29 – 26 May 2005

26-05-2005 Operational Update

Latest report on ICRC activities in the field

 General Situation  

    

 Incidents in Yirol, southern Sudan  

Since mid-April, up to 75 people have died and dozens more have been wounded in tribal clashes in Gutum area, east of Yirol town, Lakes state, that have broken out over grazing rights and access to water. The ICRC transferred the most seriously wounded people to a nearby ICRC-supported primary health clinic.

The local authorities have formed two peace committees that aim to reconcile the communities involved, and have moved “cattle camps” away from Yirol to avoid retaliatory lootings in the town.

Owing to the lack of security in the area, the situation is continuously monitored to ensure that movements of ICRC personnel are as secure as possible.

 Tripoli meetings  

Two meetings to promote peace in Sudan were hosted by the Libyan government in Tripoli in recent weeks.

The first, which was held on 8-11 May, was attended by traditional leaders and members of the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army (SLM/A) and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM). It ended with a declaration signed by SLM/A, JEM and several Arab leaders calling for further reconciliation, a peaceful solution to the conflict and cooperation among the tribes. The declaration also calls for the parties to adhere to the ceasefire, facilitate the work of aid agencies, release prisoners and open migration routes regardless of the tribal issues in the areas concerned.

The second meeting, a summit, took place on 15-16 May and was attended by the heads of State of Chad, Egypt, Eritrea, Gabon, Libya, Nigeria and Sudan. Though the SLM/A and the JEM did not participate, both groups reiterated their commitment to work towards a peaceful solution to the crisis.

The summit rejected any Western military interference in Darfur while emphasizing the role of the African Union in settling the crisis and the importance of respecting Sudan's sovereignty and territorial integrity. Peace talks were set to resume in Abuja on 1 June.

    

 South-south dialogue begins  

The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) leadership, pro-government militias and various armed groups and civil society representatives gathered in Nairobi under the theme " Building consensus for peace, reconciliation and unity among south Sudanese people, " also called " south-south dialogue, " on 18-21 April. Security, democracy, good governance, human rights, gender equality and economic development were the main issues treated at the meeting, which concluded with a promise by all delegates to " unconditionally support the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. " In addition, they encouraged the SPLM/A to form a democratic and representative government in southern Sudan and called on all armed groups to support the demobilization process, disarmament and the reintegration of former combatants into civilian life.

Some 30 armed militias are estimated to remain outside the framework of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement.

 ICRC in Juba  

Because of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement signed last January, Juba is expected to become the de facto capital of southern Sudan. The Agreement provides for the establishment of an international presence to monitor its implementation under the auspices of the UN. Deployment of a peacekeeping force comprising some 10,000 troops and peace monitors from Bangladesh, Egypt, India, Kenya, Nepal, Pakistan and Zambia has begun. In Juba alone – a city of some 200,000 people – the force plans to station some 2,000 military personnel and 250 civilians.

Because of the transition process, the ICRC will transfer its management of operations for southern Sudan from Lokichokio (northern Kenya) to Juba, where it will continue to depend on the ICRC delegation in Khartoum.

The ICRC will focus its efforts on helping to restore links between family members separated throughout the 20-year conflict and on supporting health projects – including in particular the Juba teaching hospital – according to need. Particular attention will be given to providing training in international humanitarian law for the newly created Joint Integrated Units (of government and SPLA forces), the emerging police and security forces, and academics.

 Partner National Societies improving health services  

The Iranian Red Crescent Society opened a primary health-care unit and pharmacy providing urgently needed services to residents and displaced people in Al Jeneina, where one doctor, two nurses, a midwife and a pharmacist are already at work. This is the Iranian Red Crescent’s first project in Sudan. The five-bed emergency clinic has a pre- and post-natal department and a laboratory – the only one in Al Jeneina – and is treating an average of 85 patients daily. The clinic's capacity and skills will be enhanced before it is handed over to the Sudanese Red Crescent.

The Netherlands Red Cross has started upgrading the Zalingei district hospital in coordination with the ICRC. The project has a 500,000 euro budget and is expected to benefit up to 150,000 people (residents, people from nearby areas and displaced people). A gynaecological ward and a laboratory will be added to the original structure.

Both projects are designed to have a significant impact as they add to the health-care infrastructure of Western Sudan State.

 Facilitating access to water in Chad  

In Adré (eastern Chad), just across the Sudanese border and not far from Al Jeneina, up to 20,000 people are currently benefiting from a water distribution network recently upgraded by the ICRC, which allows people to collect water at any distribution tap close to their homes instead of having to walk long distances. Over 150 people worked for over three months installing and repairing the water pumps, generators and pipelines that provide the town with 280 cubic metres of water a day.

In the semi-arid town of Abéché, in eastern Chad, the ICRC has increased the water supply by 40% and made it available 24 hours a day. Other water projects are under way in Tiné and Iriba, north of Abéché.

 Since the beginning of 2005, the ICRC has carried out the following activities:  

    

 In Darfur:  

  • Supplied water to seven camps for some 200,000 displaced persons

  • Supplied water to urban areas and repaired water networks in three towns (Kutum, Gereida and Al Jeneina)

  • Repaired 120 hand pumps serving 120,000 people, thereby reducing the need to travel to unsafe areas

  • Repaired and equipped seven boreholes serving up to 155,000 people

  • Distributed 7,720 tonnes of food to 329,446 people

 In Sudan as a whole:  

  • Rehabilitated and upgraded infrastructure in five hospitals and 12 primary health clinics

  • Supported four hospitals and 12 primary health clinics, providing health teams, drugs, consultations and surgery, plus expanded programmes of immunization and training

  • Conducted 45 sessions dealing with international humanitarian law, ICRC activities and the principles of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement for over 2,330 people including government officials, members of the armed forces, opposition groups, Arab and other militias and religious and community leaders

  • Collected 7,749 Red Cross messages and distributed 8,053

 In Chad:  

  • Made water available to 20,000 people in the eastern town of Adré.

  • Increased water supply to make it available 24 hours a day in Abéché.

 For further information, please contact:  

 Lorena Brander Bastias, ICRC Khartoum tel. ++249 9 121 37764  

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