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Sudan bulletin No. 4 - 23 July 2004

23-07-2004 Operational Update

Latest report on ICRC activities in the field



Darfur, Abshok camp for displaced persons. Feeding center©ICRC / ref. sd-e-00023 
Displaced communities scattered in the camps and towns of Darfur still refuse to return home, or even to resettle in outlying camps, until they can be sure they are safe. Their living conditions are deteriorating as the rainy season advances, with heavy rain causing serious shelter and hygiene problems and hampering the delivery of aid. In many areas rain has closed roads and even airports. More than 80 expatriates and over 315 local staff are currently involved in the Darfur operation.




  • The ICRC regularly discusses the protection of the civilian population with all parties to the conflict, at all levels. Delegates remind th em of their obligation under international humanitarian law to ensure the protection of both displaced and resident civilians, and of the sick and wounded.

  • Following reports of fighting and displacement in the area south of Nyala, in Southern Darfur, the ICRC and Sudan Red Crescent Society (SRCS) travelled to the area to identify protection needs. Other teams visited camps in and near Al Geneina in Western Darfur (Mesteri camp, the town of Beida and Mornay), where they spoke to displaced persons and community leaders.



  • The ICRC conducted a survey in the town of Nertiti, Western Darfur, to establish what assistance was needed.

  • The Kuwaiti Red Crescent Society delivered 11 tonnes of sugar and wheat for distribution through the SRCS. This was coordinated with the ICRC.

  • Two medical teams and hospital equipment from the Danish and Norwegian Red Cross Societies arrived in Kutum and Zalingei, where the ICRC is working to get two hospitals running again.

  • Progress was made in setting up a primary health care programme in Darfur; initial needs assessments have been conducted in southern areas of Western Darfur (Masteri and Beida).

  • In Kebkabiya, construction work continued on wells in the Arab community and in the west and central wadi in the town of Kabkabyia. In Kutum, wells were deepened near Kassab camp (serving 25,000 people) and in Kambout village.

  • The SRCS h as finished digging a new well in Ardamata camp, Al Geneina, which should deliver up to 150,000 litres of water per day.


  • Efforts are underway to trace almost 1,400 people, including 450 children and the parents of 55 children.

  • Six children separated from their families were registered in Abshok camp in El Fasher.

  • Two children were registered in Ryad camp, Al Geneina, and five tracing requests for lost children were collected in Beida and Al Geneina.

  • In Southern Darfur, ten requests to trace lost children were collected.

  • Authorities and community leaders in the town of Nyala and in Kass and Kalma camps have received thorough training regarding the workings of the tracing service.

  • For the first time, a tracing team has visited the southern part of Western Darfur, along the Chadian border (Mesteri, Beida). The ICRC has also evaluated the situation in Sisi.



Staff and volunteers from the three SRCS branches in Darfur have been working side by side with ICRC teams to operate the tracing service and support evaluation activities. New tracing volunteers were identified and briefed In various places visited over the week.



The deteriorating situation in Sudan's Darfur region is continuing to affect refugees who have fled into neighbouring Chad. The living conditions of an estimated 150,000 refugees are getting worse. The lack of security and the poor conditions in the camps at Farshana and Bredjing recently provoked riots and violent skirmishes with relief workers, resulting in the temporary departure of several NGOs. The rainy season is a concern here too, as rain is impeding delivery of aid to the areas where refugees are located. In response to this problem, the World Food Program has signed an agreement with the Libyan government to open a humanitarian corridor that will enable aid to reach people in eastern Chad and Darfur from the north.

The ICRC has been in Chad since 1977 and currently has 7 ICRC delegates and 13 local staff. Six of these delegates are located in Abéché, where the ICRC recently opened an office to respond to the humanitarian fallout from the Darfur conflict. Activities in Abéché are expanding to cope with the situation.



Over the past week, the ICRC and the Red Cross of Chad (RCC) stepped up their activities in eastern Chad in response to the growing needs of the refugees and the civilian population.

  • To combat the severe water shortage in the north of eastern Chad, the RCC and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies are trucking water to the newly established refugee camp of Oure-Cassoni. The ICRC is also working with the Chadian authorities and other humanitarian organizations to monitor water rehabilitation activities in parts of eastern Chad.

  • The ICRC has a national detention programme in Chad and is visiting a growing number of detention centres in the east.

  • ICRC delegates are establishing a decentralized family tracing service, which involves setting up several offices in UNHCR camps in eastern Chad.

  • The ICRC is currently monitoring the situation of 30 people deprived of their freedom in eastern Chad.

  • 26 RCC workers and 11 refugees took part in a four-day ICRC family-tracing course.

  • 14 RCC workers and 6 refugees are currently setting up tracing offices in UNHCR refugee camps.

  • The ICRC continues to promote the basic rules of international humanitarian law among members of the Chadian security forces.

 For further information please contact:  

 Carlo Piccinini, ICRC Khartoum, tel. ++249 9 121 377 64  

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

 Marco Jiménez Rodríguez, Geneva, tel. ++41 22 730 22 71