Sudan Bulletin No.38 - 9 January 2006
09-01-2006 Operational Update
Latest report on ICRC activities in the field
Security situation in Darfur
An African Union vehicle was attacked on Saturday 7 January, resulting in the death of one peacekeeper and injuries to several others. The attack took place near West Darfur’s capital Al-Geneina, not far from the Sudan-Chad border. The region has been the scene of several security incidents in recent weeks, with worrying consequences for the already precarious humanitarian situation.
Another example of the volatile situation is Abu Saruj, a village some 15 kilometres north of Al-Geneina, where clashes between governmental troops and rebel groups took place on 19 December. Several hundred people left their homes in search of safety and shelter, further increasing humanitarian needs around Al-Geneina.
On December 18, fighting occurred between Chadian opposition groups and Chadian forces in the Chadian border town of Adré, south-west of Al-Geneina. This was one of several major incidents that are destabilizing the Sudan-Chadian border region and causing suffering among the local population
As reported previously, security problems have forced the ICRC sub-delegation in Al-Geneina to significantly reduce its activities. Fortunately, however, the ICRC sub-delegation in Zalingei is able to cover at least 60% of West Darfur.
As the violence increases, so do the needs. And yet, at the same time, the ICRC is being left with ever fewer opportunities to act credibly and effectively without endangering its staff or those it is trying to help. The ICRC therefore remains very concerned about the predicament of the victims o f this conflict.
The ICRC will be assessing the security situation in West Darfur over the coming weeks. Only then will the organization be able to consider resuming operations in the area.
Clashes at the end of the year in the Jebel Marra area of Darfur left several people injured. The Field Surgical Team (FST) was deployed to the village of Daya (in the northern part of the Jebel Marra), where it treated nine people injured in these incidents. The FST is scheduled to perform a follow-up visit to these patients, if the security situation allows.
As they were returning to base, the team received a request for assistance from the health authorities of Zalingei (West Darfur) who asked them to follow up a number of people the FST had already treated following tribal clashes four weeks earlier.
Inter-tribal fighting and tension continue in the region of Abata, in West Darfur. Hundreds of families were uprooted and displaced to the towns of Abata and Zalingei. Following a needs assessment, the ICRC distributed food and other essential items to 150 families on 8 January.
On 6 January, the health authorities of Gereida, south of Nyala, asked the FST to treat 14 victims of recent clashes.
ICRC facilitates handover of detainees
On four occasions during November and December, the SLA asked the ICRC to act as neutral intermediary in facilitating the transfer of some 20 people detained in Darfur. All the detainees were handed over to government authorities or their families.
In 2005 the ICRC carried out the following activities:
Supplied water to seven camps for displaced persons and to urban areas, repaired water-supply networks in four towns (Al-Fashir, Kutum, Gereida and Al-Geneina) and provided some 1.5 million people with a total of two million litres of water per day.
Distributed over 32,000 tonnes of food to 300,000 people.
Deployed its mobile field surgical team 30 times since April. The team performed over 370 operations on war-wounded patients (including combatants) who would otherwise have had no access to care.
In Sudan as a whole:
Repaired and upgraded five hospitals and 12 primary health-care clinics. Provided four hospitals and 12 primary health-care clinics with staff, drugs, consultations and surgery, and expanded immunization and training programmes.
Gave talks on international humanitarian law, ICRC activities and the fundamental principles of the Red Cross and Red Crescent to some 10,500 people, including government officials, military personnel, opposition groups, armed militias and religious and community leaders.
Collected over 29,300 Red Cross messages and distributed over 30,200.
Continued to hold confidential discussions on the protection of conflict victims with all parties, at all levels, both in the field and in Khartoum.
For further information, please contact:
Paul Conneally, ICRC Khartoum, tel. +249 9121 70576
Lorena Brander, ICRC Khartoum, tel. +249 9121 37764
Marco Jiménez Rodríguez, ICRC Geneva, tel. +41 79 217 3217