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Sudan: Bulletin No. 27 – 15 April 2005

15-04-2005 Operational Update No 27

Latest Report on ICRC activities in the field

 General situation  

Violence in Darfur has continued to affect humanitarian operations over the last two weeks. This is impeding efforts to help people who lack even the most basic necessities and are becoming increasingly dependent on external aid.

Unidentified attackers in various parts of Darfur have ambushed and looted a number of aid agency vehicles carrying food or other essential items. Fortunately, there was no loss of life.

The ICRC is deeply concerned about the increase in this type of incident. Constant monitoring of the security situation is essential to maintain access to people in remote areas. Despite security limitations, the ICRC is continuing food distributions and has even stepped up these operations in some areas.

 International Criminal Court  

On 31 March, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 1593, referring the situation in Darfur to the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court.

The ICRC was among the organizations that actively supported and welcomed the establishment of the Court, and sees bringing prosecutions for violations of international humanitarian law as an important means of promoting respect for and compliance with this branch of law.

It is the responsibility of the political bodies connected with this conflict to decide how to address breaches of IHL and how to establish who is responsible.

 Preparing for planting  

The ICRC plans to distribute seed and tools to some 28,000 people, ready for the June planting season that will begin once the rains start. This is an increase of 8,000 over the original number of beneficiaries planned.

Seed and tools are carefully selected to reflect the needs of the people and the type of soil, ensuring best possible use of resources. People who receive seed and tools also receive food, to reduce the risk of their using the seed for food.

By June, the ICRC will have distributed 180 tonnes of millet, 80 tonnes of sorghum, 40 tonnes of groundnuts and 3 tonnes of okra.

Millet and sorghum are essential crops in Darfur, providing key elements of the staple diet. Groundnuts and okra, as well as providing food, can also be used as cash crops.

Local blacksmiths are making some of the 130,000 tools needed for land preparation, weeding and harvesting, a measure that also contributes to the local economy.


 Water and health  

The ICRC has repaired four hand pumps in the Thabit region and the villages of Ashaba and Dadi (Northern Darfur), bringing water to almost 1,500 people and raising the general level of hygiene. In southern Sudan, the ICRC has facilitated hygiene training to Maguei and Nyang communities.

 Economic security  

The ICRC is continuing to train 150 community animal-health officers. They will be working to improve the health of cattle owned by nomadic and pastoral farmers, with the aim of boosting economic security in rural areas.


 Supporting our partners  

The ICRC continues to support and work closely with the Sudanese Red Crescent Society (SRCS) and other partners within the international Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.

Recent examples include providing first-aid supplies to five SRCS branches across the country and helping the SRCS in Habila (Al Geneina area) to launch new activities alongside its existing tracing work.

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

 In Darfur:  

  • Supplied water to six camps for displaced persons, serving 153,000 people

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

  • Repaired 70 hand pumps, serving 70,000 people

  • Repaired and equipped three boreholes, serving up to 25,000 people

  • Distributed 4,707 tonnes of food to 328,684 people

 In Sudan as a whole:  

  • Collected 5,093 Red Cross Messages and distributed 4,908

  • Renovated and upgraded infrastructure in five hospitals and twelve primary health clinics

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

  • Conducted 45 sessions on international humanitarian law, ICRC activities and the principles of the Red Cross and Red Crescent movement. Over 2,330 people attended, including government officials, members of the armed forces, national security personnel, university students and community leaders.

 For further information, please contact:  

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

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