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Sudan: UNAMID Head briefs UN Security Council on “alarming escalation of violence” in Darfur

4 April 2014 - 8:22am
Source: UN-AU Mission in Darfur Country: Sudan

On 3 April 2014, African Union-United Nations Joint Special Representative (JSR) for Darfur, Mohamed Ibn Chambas, briefed the members of the United Nations Security Council on what he described as “alarming escalation of violence” in Darfur over the past three months, which has resulted in over 215,000 civilians being displaced.

The JSR explained that there are several factors at play. Of particular concern are the activities in the region of a Government counter-insurgency force known as the Rapid Support Forces (RSF). They have perpetrated attacks on communities, particularly in South Darfur. A number of villages have been looted, destroyed, and their populations displaced with yet unknown scale of casualties.

Mr. Chambas noted that there has also been an increase in attacks by non-signatory movements on villages and against Government forces as well. He highlighted that inter-communal fighting, mainly over access to resources, had increased along with criminal activities; all of which causing an increase in suffering for the civilian populations in Darfur.

The Head of UNAMID expressed his concern about access restrictions enforced by all the parties to the conflict and insecurity continuing to hamper the provision of humanitarian assistance to the affected population.

Mr. Chambas mentioned that the current security situation in Darfur is serious and has the real potential to undermine the ongoing efforts to seek a political settlement of the conflict. “A cessation of hostilities is a first and vital step towards constructive dialogue and I sincerely hope that the modalities of the initiative for an all-inclusive national dialogue by the Government of Sudan will materialize soon and complement our efforts to bring about durable peace, security and development in Darfur,” he said.

Kenya: Eastern Africa Humanitarian Bulletin, Issue 34 | 8 March – 4 April 2014

4 April 2014 - 7:18am
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan preview

HIGHLIGHTS

• WFP and partners begin rapid response operations to reach IDPs in South Sudan before they are cut off

• Military offensive in Somalia slows down interest of returnees, as Kenya issues orders to reinforce encampment of refugees

• Regional agro-climatic outlook: mostly normal to near-normal rain and vegetation conditions except in known drought-prone areas

• Flood alerts in river basins and other low-lying areas

• OCHA-IGAD strengthen ties on resilience

• One polio case reported in Ethiopia

Somalia: Bulletin sur le Criquet pèlerin (No. 426, 3 avril 2014)

4 April 2014 - 7:03am
Source: Food and Agriculture Organization Country: Algeria, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Libya, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen preview

Situation Générale en mars 2014

Prévision jusqu'à’mi-mai 2014

La situation relative au Criquet pèlerin s’est améliorée en mars le long des deux rives de la mer Rouge suite aux opérations de lutte et au dessèchement des conditions. Néanmoins, il subsiste un risque que des groupes d’ailés et peut-être quelques petits essaims puissent se déplacer dans les aires de reproduction printanière de l’intérieur de l’Arabie saoudite et du Yémen, où une reproduction est possible.

Des reproductions localisées ont eu lieu dans le nord d’Oman et on s’attend à ce qu’elles se poursuivent. Quelques bandes larvaires se sont formées dans les périmètres irrigués le long de la vallée du Nil, dans le nord du Soudan. Plusieurs essaims se sont formés sur la côte nord-ouest de la Somalie et se sont déplacés dans l’est de l’Éthiopie, où une reproduction aura probablement lieu dans les zones de pluie récente. Ailleurs, une reproduction à petite échelle aura probablement lieu au cours de la période de prévision dans les aires de reproduction printanière d’Afrique du nord-ouest et d’Asie du sud-ouest, entraînant u

World: Weekly Epidemiological Record (WER) 4 April 2014, vol. 89, 14 (pp. 141–152) [EN/FR]

4 April 2014 - 6:01am
Source: World Health Organization Country: Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Guinea, Kenya, Mali, Sudan, Uganda, World, South Sudan

Contents

141 Progress towards measles pre-elimination, African Region, 2011-2012
151 Monthly report on dracunculiasis cases, January- February 2014

Sommaire

141 Progrès en vue de la préélimination de la rougeole dans la Région africaine 2011-2012
151 Rapport mensuel des cas de dracunculose, janvier-février 2014

Sudan: UNHCR, Khartoum disagree over South Sudanese refugees

4 April 2014 - 2:50am
Source: Sudan Tribune Country: Sudan, South Sudan

April 3, 2014 (KHARTOUM) - The United Nations office in Sudan has disclosed disagreement between the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Sudanese government on the description of the South Sudanese citizens who fled to Sudan due to the ongoing conflict in the newborn state.

Khartoum since the start of South Sudanese crisis last December refuses to describe them as refugees saying they will be considered as Sudanese citizens and are free to settle where they want, but at the same time it refuses to establish refugees camps near the border fearing that rebels seek refuges there.

UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator, Ali Al-Za’atari, warned in a press conference on Wednesday against a catastrophe in the event that the number of South Sudanese citizens living on the borders reaches 150.000 people.

He stressed in a press conference in Khartoum on Wednesday that the number of South Sudanese who fled to Sudanese territory is between 27.000 to 50.000 people, saying the Sudanese government refuses to describe the southerners as refugees while demanding humanitarian assistance for them.

"How can we offer them assistance if they are not refugees", he said.

He asserted that a refugee is defined by certain criteria, saying the Sudanese government can deal with them as brothers but we consider them refugees.

Al-Za’atari underscored that Khartoum must look at this issue in a logical and objective way particularly as the two sides are bound by international laws and regulations in this regard, saying description of the fleeing southerners as refugees would enable them to secure the necessary funding from donors.

"We currently help the southerners from the fund which must be allocated to Sudanese areas", he added.

Al-Za’atari further said they requested $48 million to meet requirements of South Sudanese fleeing to Sudan, pointing the hosting country and the UNHCR must issue a joint appeal in order to get that fund.

He however disclosed that a committee was formed in order to settle the dispute between the Sudanese government and the UNHCR.

Meanwhile, the Sudanese government maintained its sovereign right to not consider the southerners who live within its territory as refugees.

Sudan’s humanitarian aid commissioner, Suleiman Abdel-Rahman, for his part said the hosting country has the legal right to grant the description of a refugee or offer full citizenship status.

He stressed the Sudanese president Omer Al-Bashir directed the concerned bodies to treat South Sudanese fleeing the ongoing conflict as Sudanese citizens, not refugees, stressing the presidential directive could be reviewed if the number of southerners increased significantly.

(ST)

Sudan: Security Council Endorses Secretary-General’s Revised Strategic Priorities for African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur - Resolution 2148 (2014)

3 April 2014 - 8:39pm
Source: UN Security Council Country: Sudan

SC/11342
Security Council
7152nd Meeting (AM)

Resolution 2148 (2014) Seeks Streamlining of Military, Police, Civilian Activities

Adjusting to new dynamics that have altered the nature of conflict in Darfur, the Security Council today endorsed the Secretary-General’s revised strategic priorities for the joint African Union-United Nations presence in the restive western region of Sudan.

Unanimously adopting resolution 2148 (2014), the Council also endorsed the Secretary-General’s special report of the Secretary-General on the review of the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) (document S/2014/138), as requested by resolution 2113 (2013). In that context, it endorsed the revised strategic priorities of protecting civilians, facilitating the delivery of humanitarian assistance and ensuring the safety of humanitarian personnel; mediating between the Government of Sudan and non-signatory armed movements on the basis of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur; and supporting the mediation of community conflict, including through measures to address its root causes.

By other terms of the text, the Council took note of the proposed adjustment of benchmarks and indicators for UNAMID outlined in the report, requesting that they be further refined to reflect the strategic priorities. It also requested UNAMID to streamline its activities across its military, police and civilian components, taking note of the Secretary-General’s intention to reduce the police component swiftly, in order to enhance its effectiveness.

In addition, the Council noted that UNAMID faced three challenges: partnership with the Government in implementing its mandate; major shortfalls in the operational capabilities of several troop and police contingents; and the need for improved coordination and integration structures, both within the mission and the United Nations country team. As such, it requested UNAMID to identify steps by which it would more effectively achieve the revised strategic priorities.

Further, the Council called upon Member States to redouble their efforts to provide aviation units to the mission, and upon the Government to facilitate the deployment of assets already pledged. On the political process, it welcomed the 27 January announcement of a national dialogue by the President of Sudan, noting that its modalities should offer an opportunity to address the legitimate grievances of the people of Darfur.

More broadly, the Council called on all parties in Darfur to remove all obstacles to UNAMID’s discharge of its mandate. It also called upon the Government to comply fully and immediately with the status-of-forces agreement and to enhance its cooperation with the mission, while looking forward to assessing the initial impact of the review’s implementation before renewing UNAMID’s mandate in August 2014.

Speaking after the adoption, Hassan Hamid Hassan ( Sudan) said that after careful consideration of the Secretary-General’s reports on UNAMID, he agreed with the actions taken to enhance the mission, so that it could contain tribal conflicts that had jeopardized security in Darfur. The Government supported the special report’s third scenario, entailing action on the peace process, he said, adding that such an effort would include a national dialogue with opposition groups and armed movements. It was to be hoped that all parties would join the political process. Despite the recent deterioration in Darfur due to intercommunal violence, Sudan was making inroads towards easing the tensions, in coordination with UNAMID, which had made many efforts to calm the violence. Hopefully, the Secretary-General’s next report would outline improvements needed and ways in which to focus on reconstruction and prosperity in Darfur.

The meeting began at 10:05 a.m. and ended at 10:15 a.m.

Resolution

The full text of resolution 2148 (2014) reads as follows:

“The Security Council,

“Reaffirming all its previous resolutions and presidential statements concerning the situation in Sudan and underlining the importance of full compliance with these,

“Reaffirming its strong commitment to the sovereignty, unity, independence and territorial integrity of Sudan and its determination to work with the Government of Sudan, in full respect of its sovereignty, to assist in tackling the various challenges in Sudan,

“Recalling the importance of the principles of the peaceful settlement of international disputes, good neighbourliness, non-interference and cooperation in the relations among States in the region,

“Recalling its resolution 2086 (2013) and reaffirming the basic principles of peacekeeping, including consent of the parties, impartiality, and non-use of force, except in self-defence and defence of the mandate, and recognizing that the mandate of each peacekeeping mission is specific to the need and situation of the country concerned,

“Commending the efforts of the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) towards promoting peace and stability in Darfur, and reiterating its full support for UNAMID,

“Expressing deep concern at the considerable deterioration of the security situation in Darfur during 2013, with continued clashes between the Government of Sudan and rebel armed groups and an intensification of inter-communal violence, including with the involvement of elements of paramilitary units and tribal militias, which has become the main source of violence against civilians and of population displacement,

“Expressing concern at the prevalence of arms in Darfur and the continued threats to civilians posed by unexploded ordnance,

“Expressing deep concern at the impact of deteriorating security on the civilian population, including the significant increase in population displacements in 2013, and the consequent increase in humanitarian and protection needs, including related to sexual and gender-based violence and violence against children; noting that humanitarian actors were able to reach the majority of people in need of humanitarian assistance in Darfur in 2013, with the notable exception of those vulnerable populations in areas of active fighting, including the East Jebel Marra region; in this regard, expressing particular concern at reports of an escalation of violence in Darfur since February 2014, resulting in the displacement of a large number of civilians, and at the denial of access for UNAMID and humanitarian actors to the affected areas by the Sudanese authorities; and further expressing concern over the insufficient availability of funding for humanitarian actors;

“Reiterating its strong condemnation of attacks against UNAMID, and its call on the Government of Sudan swiftly to investigate these attacks and to bring the perpetrators to justice, and on all parties in Darfur to cooperate fully with the Mission,

“Reiterating that there can be no military solution to the conflict in Darfur, and that an inclusive political settlement is essential to re-establishing peace, and underscoring the importance of fully addressing the root causes of the conflict in the search for a sustainable peace, which should rapidly deliver real benefits for the Darfuri people, in this regard reiterating its support for the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD) as a solid basis for the Darfur peace process, and for its accelerated implementation,

“Noting in this regard that UNAMID’s ability to facilitate progress in implementation of the DDPD is hampered by delays by the signatory parties and the absence of an inclusive political settlement between the government and non‑signatory movements, expressing concern that the humanitarian and security situation, as well as lack of capacity of the Darfur Regional Authority, hinder the transition from relief to stabilization and development activities, urging donors to honour their pledges and fulfil their obligations in a timely manner, including those commitments made at the conference in Doha in April 2013, and affirming that development can support a lasting peace in Darfur,

“Commending the efforts of Joint Special Representative Mohamed ibn Chambas to revitalize the peace process, including through renewed engagement of the non-signatory movements, and urging all parties to the conflict to cease all acts of violence immediately, and to engage in the peace process without preconditions on the basis of the DDPD, in order to bring a durable and stable peace to the region,

“Encouraging the Joint Special Representative to continue his efforts to increase the inclusiveness of the political process, guided by the Framework for AU and United Nations Facilitation of the Darfur Peace Process, and to coordinate with the African Union-High-level Implementation Panel (AU-HIP) and the United Nations Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan to synchronize their mediation efforts while taking into account ongoing transformation at the national level, welcoming in this regard the announcement by President Bashir on 27 January of a national dialogue, noting that the modalities of such a dialogue should provide an opportunity to address the legitimate grievances of the people of Darfur, looking forward to further developments towards the implementation of an inclusive dialogue process, and stressing the importance of the effective participation of women in this process, and in efforts towards peace in Darfur,

“Noting that local dispute resolution mechanisms play an important role in preventing and resolving inter-communal conflict, including conflict over natural resources, and urging an intensification of effective efforts to prevent local disputes leading to violence, with its corresponding impact on the local civilian populations, acknowledging the efforts of Sudanese authorities and local mediators to mediate in intertribal fighting, with support from UNAMID and the United Nations Country Team (UNCT), and urging their continued work,

“Welcoming that, over the last year, cooperation between UNAMID and the Government of Sudan has resulted in improvements in mandate implementation, including through the more timely issuance of visas, but expressing deep concern that continued access restrictions and delays in the issuance of customs clearances for contingent-owned equipment significantly undermine UNAMID’s effectiveness, and further expressing deep concern that the delivery of humanitarian assistance is constrained and delayed by particular restrictions facing humanitarian actors, and that insufficient cooperation by the Government, particularly in terms of access, seriously constrains the Mission’s ability to operate,

“Expressing deep concern that shortfalls in the operational capabilities of some military and police components seriously constrain the force’s mobility, effectiveness and ability to deter and respond robustly to attacks,

“Noting the need for effective coordination and integration structures within UNAMID, and between UNAMID and UNCT, and encouraging swift development and implementation of a clearer strategic vision, priorities and a strategic and operational planning system within UNAMID, as well as an improved early warning and response mechanism and coordination of protection of civilians activities with UNCT,

“Recalling the AU Peace and Security Council Communiqué of 24 March 2014,

“1. Welcomes and endorses the Secretary-General’s Special Report of 25 February 2014 (S/2014/138) on the review of the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) and its recommendations, pursuant to Security Council resolution 2113 (2013);

“2. Takes note of the proposed adjustment of the benchmarks and indicators for UNAMID outlined in the Secretary-General’s report S/2014/138, and requests the Secretary-General to further refine these benchmarks and indicators to reflect the revised strategic priorities of the Mission, and submit them in his next 90-day report;

“3. Stresses the important role of the AU in supporting implementation of the review of UNAMID; and welcomes the continued efforts of the Joint Support Coordination Mechanism, including in performing important coordination, support and liaison functions;

“4. Endorses UNAMID’s revised strategic priorities of: the protection of civilians, the facilitation of the delivery of humanitarian assistance and the safety and security of humanitarian personnel; mediation between the Government of Sudan and non-signatory armed movements on the basis of the DDPD, while taking into account ongoing democratic transformation at the national level; and support to the mediation of community conflict, including through measures to address its root causes, in conjunction with UNCT;

“5. Requests UNAMID to focus and streamline its activities, across its military, police and civilian components in order to achieve progress on these three strategic priorities, recognizes that their effective implementation will require certain Mission tasks to be deprioritized and requests the Secretary-General to include these tasks in his next regular report on UNAMID;

“6. Takes note of the Secretary-General’s intention to reduce UNAMID’s police component swiftly, in order to increase the effectiveness of that component, requests the Secretary-General to provide detailed and updated information on the implementation of this reduction in his next report, and stresses in this regard the importance of effective deployment, training and operational capability of UNAMID’s police component,

“7. Notes that UNAMID faces three major challenges in the effective discharge of its mandate, in the light of the evolving political and security environment, namely: the cooperation and partnership of the Government of Sudan in mandate implementation; major shortfalls in several troop- and police-contingent operational capabilities; and the need for improved coordination and integration structures within UNAMID and between UNAMID and UNCT;

“8. Requests that UNAMID identify, in the context of these challenges, steps by which it will achieve its revised strategic priorities more effectively, and further requests the Secretary-General to report on these steps in his regular reports to the Council on UNAMID;

“9. Welcomes the planned efforts on the part of the United Nations and the relevant troop- and police-contributing countries to address shortfalls in the operational capabilities of some contingents, including enhanced engagement by the African Union and United Nations Secretariat with these countries, and encourages UNAMID to move to a more preventive and pre-emptive posture in pursuit of its priorities and in active defence of its mandate, building on positive steps taken so far, without prejudice to the agreed basic principles of peacekeeping;

“10. Stresses the need to address gaps in the integrated strategic and operational architecture of UNAMID, calls on UNAMID and UNCT to put in place the full requirements of the United Nations Policy on Integrated Assessment and Planning, including the establishment of integrated mechanisms for joint analysis, planning, coordination, monitoring, and decision-making, especially for joint operational planning for the military and police on protection of civilians; further calls on the Secretariat to assist the Mission in these tasks, and requests that the Secretary-General include steps taken in this regard in his next regular report to the Council on UNAMID;

“11. Notes with concern the strategic gap in mobility for the mission, and the continuing critical need for aviation capacity and other mobility assets, including military utility helicopters for UNAMID, calls on Member States to redouble their efforts to provide aviation units to the mission, and on the Government of Sudan to facilitate the deployment of those assets already pledged, and requests the Secretary-General to include information on related force generation efforts in his regular reports, and on what other strategies can offset this critical military gap,

“12. Urges all relevant actors to implement the review of UNAMID swiftly and fully, requests the Secretary-General to include in his next regular report to the Council on UNAMID specific information and operational recommendations as required on the cost efficiency and reduction of the Mission’s military, police and civilian components to maximize Mission effectiveness in the implementation of its revised strategic priorities, and expresses its intention to make necessary adjustments accordingly;

“13. Calls on all parties in Darfur to remove all obstacles to UNAMID’s full and proper discharge of its mandate, and calls on the Government of Sudan to comply with the Status of Forces Agreement fully and without delay, and to enhance its cooperation with UNAMID on the implementation of UNAMID’s mandate;

“14. Stresses the importance of effective monitoring and evaluation of UNAMID’s impact in order to improve its effectiveness and looks forward to considering progress in implementation of the review on the basis of the Secretary-General’s regular reports to the Council;

“15. Looks forward to assessing the initial impact of implementation of the review before renewing UNAMID’s mandate in August 2014, and expresses its intention to ensure that UNAMID’s mandate reflects the revised strategic priorities set out in the Secretary-General’s Special Report;

“16. Decides to remain seized of the matter.”

For information media • not an official record

Sudan: Special report of the Secretary-General on the review of the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (S/2014/138)

3 April 2014 - 8:30pm
Source: UN Security Council Country: Sudan

I. Introduction

1 . Six years after the transition from the African Union Mission in the Sudan to the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID), a comprehensive political settlement to the Darfur crisis has yet to be reached.

Fighting continues and protection and humanitarian assistance needs among the civilian population remain considerable. Further compounding the situation, intercommunal conflict has intensified, especially over resources, since August 2012. At the same time, humanitarian space continues to be challenged and UNAMID itself has been subject to increasingly hostile action. In 2013, UNAMID suffered 19 attacks, resulting in 16 dead and 27 injured and a significant loss of vehicles, weapons and ammunition. In that context, the Security Council requested in its resolution 2113 (2013) a detailed and forward-looking review of the Mission’s progress towards achieving its mandate, particularly in the light of major changes and developments in the situation in Darfur since the Mission’s establishment.

2 . A joint assessment team, consisting of representatives from the African Union Commission, the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the Department of Field Support of the Secretariat, the United Nations Children’s Fund, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the World Food Programme and UNAMID, undertook the review in close consultation with the United Nations country team in the Sudan. The review was conducted in three phases, the first of which involved an updated analysis of the causes, drivers and effects of conflict in Darfur. In the second phase, the Mission’s existing capacities and strategies were evaluated, taking into account the operating environment. In the third phase, the assessment team reviewed the strategic priorities for UNAMID and developed recommendations to address the main challenges to the implementation of the mandate.

Sudan: Averting the Risks of Unexploded Ordnance

3 April 2014 - 8:00pm
Source: UN-AU Mission in Darfur Country: Sudan

By Sharon Lukunka

While walking home on 5 July 2013, 14-year-old Kharsha from Zalingei, Central Darfur, picked up an object resembling a small pineapple. Arriving home, she handed it to her four-year-old brother Zakaria. Their mother, Hawaya, was preparing breakfast outside their home when she realized that her son was playing with a dangerous object. Despite her warning, he continued to fiddle with the device, which started emitting a sound. Hawaya quickly alerted other children in the area to move away, but the object exploded, injuring the entire family and leading to the death of her son two days later.

Hawaya was among several residents in Zalingei who had received risk-education training from UNAMID’s Ordnance Disposal Office (ODO). Unfortunately, while she recognized the object in young Zakaria’s hands as a threat, she was not able to intervene quickly enough to save his life.

Later, Kharsha said she thought the object she had picked up—which turned out to be a hand grenade—was harmless. “I had no idea how dangerous it was,” she said. “I never want this to happen to anyone else; everyone in the community should be aware of the dangers and not pick up strange objects.”

Unexploded ordnance (UXO) continues to pose a threat to the safety and security of Darfur’s communities. From 2013 to the present, according to UNAMID’s records, 19 people have been injured and seven others killed as a result of UXO accidents. Types of unexploded devices found in Darfur include mortar rounds, tank and artillery projectiles, hand grenades, rocket-propelled grenades, aircraft rockets, ground-launched rockets, and sub-munitions. These unexploded remnants of conflict not only pose a direct risk to civilians, but indirectly pose a threat in obstructing the delivery of humanitarian aid, hindering the return of refugees and internally displaced people, and preventing farmers from cultivating their land.

UNAMID’s ODO personnel have been taking steps to clear large tracts of land in Darfur. From July 2013 to the present, ODO officers assessed more than 800 square kilometres of land and more than 3,000 kilometres of roadways, declaring them ordnance-free. In the process, they destroyed 865 UXOs and trained more than 16,000 people in how to recognize and mark them. UNAMID’s ODO personnel continue to work closely with other UNAMID components, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), international and local nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and Government institutions to help raise awareness about the issue and reduce the risk of injury from unexploded ordnance.

“Through the efforts of ODO and our partners, we have managed to reach some 800,000 people directly with important messages about explosive remnants of war, with an estimated 2.25 million others receiving indirect messaging,” said Max Dyck, Programme Manager of UNAMID’s ODO.

One example of the kind of risk-awareness education programmes undertaken in Darfur is the one conducted by Friends of Peace and Development (FPD), a Sudanese NGO. Mr. Yahya Ahmed, Director of FDP, explains that many UXO incidents occur in rural areas or on the outskirts of towns where children play or graze their family’s animals. “Because some parents in rural areas have withdrawn their children from school, they lack basic knowledge about UXOs that they come across in the field,” he says, explaining that FDP specifically targets rural areas—and the schools and camps for displaced people—with puppetry shows and workshops designed to build an understanding of the dangers of UXOs.

In addition to focusing on raising awareness about UXOs directly and through the assistance of its partners, UNAMID supports victims through an assistance programme designed to fund the rehabilitation of those injured in UXO incidents. This programme is designed to ensure that the families affected by these incidents get the economic and social assistance they need.

The International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action is commemorated annually on 4 April. In his message marking the occasion this year, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon highlights the role women play in protecting their communities from the effects of UXOs, and notes that women are disproportionately affected by the violence. “They have different needs when it comes to education about risks, and they may face greater challenges when a family member is killed or injured,” says Mr. Ban. “That is why the United Nations endeavours to listen to the views of women in our mine action work, incorporate their ideas and empower them to contribute even more to our global campaign.“

Sudan: Fire destroys 44 shelters in South Darfur’s Kalma camp

3 April 2014 - 5:14pm
Source: Radio Dabanga Country: Sudan

Tens of families in the Kalma camp for the displaced in South Darfur have been living in the open since Friday when a fire destroyed their homes.

“The fire that broke out last Friday in Block 1 resulted in the destruction of 44 shelters, 33 of them entirely, and of seven horse carts” Dr Saleh Eisa Mohamed, the Secretary-General of Kalma camp told Radio Dabanga. “Three horses, five donkeys, 27 sheep, and a considerable number of chickens died.

Hasaniya Abdallah Daoud (70), Tabna Ahmed Azraq (22), and Samira Fadil El Zain were seriously injured.

Eisa said that they had contacted Unamid and a number of organisations to help the affected families. “The American Refugee Committee, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), in coordination with the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), responded on Wednesday, and distributed non-food items to 33 affected families, including tarpaulins, two blankets, two ground covers, a jerry can, and household utensils, to each family.”

Sudan: Governance for Peace over Natural Resources: A review of transitions in environmental governance across Africa as a resource for peacebuilding and environmental management in Sudan

3 April 2014 - 4:10pm
Source: UN Environment Programme Country: Sudan, World preview

Executive Summary

Environmental governance in Sudan is in a state of transition. The country is adapting to a number of concurrent environmental challenges associated with population growth, urbanisation, climate change, and the impacts of conflict, amongst others. As part of that adaptation there is a clear need to search for new ways of organising environmental governance, so that natural resources can be managed and accessed by different users peacefully, equitably and sustainably. That search will find that much can be learned from experiences of other states that have faced similar situations and processes of transition elsewhere on the African continent.

This report sets out some potential building blocks for reforming and rebuilding environmental governance in Sudan, drawing lessons from international environmental governance frameworks and from the experiences of other African nations, for example: processes to establish international environmental governance; how they have combined customary and statutory mechanisms for natural resource management; and how they have addressed issues of land tenure in peace processes. The review is intended as a resource for all environmental and peacebuilding stakeholders: policy-makers, practitioners, researchers and members of civil society; so that access to natural resources can be managed peacefully in the future rather than becoming a fault-line for violent conflict. Whilst written to inform environmental stakeholders across Sudan, the report has particular significance for Darfur where the need to re-establish mechanisms for sustainable and equitable management of the natural environment has been well recognised: the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD) links the need for “developing policies and conducting necessary studies for putting an end to environmental degradation” with the need to “mitigate conflict over water and pasture”

Sudan: Sudan: Situation update on new displacements in Darfur (as of 03 April 2014)

3 April 2014 - 11:15am
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Sudan preview

Sudan: ‘Ethnic cleansing behind attacks on Darfur villages’: JEM

3 April 2014 - 8:21am
Source: Radio Dabanga Country: Sudan

DARFUR (3 Apr.) - The Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) condemned the widespread acts of destruction by the Rapid Support Forces and other militia groups on villages in North and South Darfur, as well as the silence of the Um Jaras Forum’s participants concerning the attacks.

“On Sunday, when the Um Jaras Forum was concluding its sessions, the destruction of rural areas in North Darfur had intensified. However, not a single reference, let alone a condemnation of the attacks, was mentioned in the Forum’s outcomes,” Ahmed Adam Bakhit, Deputy Head of JEM, told Radio Dabanga on Wednesday.

“The Rapid Support militias have destroyed all ‘the arable and arid’ in areas southeast of Nyala in South Darfur, west of El Fasher, the north-western parts of Kutum, and west of Mellit in North Darfur. This policy of scorched earth and the systematic impoverishment of the people of Darfur can only be described as ethnic cleansing,” Bakhit stated.

In a statement released on Wednesday, JEM listed a number of North Darfur villages that were looted and destroyed on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday: Hashaba El Donki, Bir Subyan Kujo, Hamarei, Hillet Salem, Hillet Nugara, Bawa, Hillet Mandi, Nagu Jara, Baashim, Amarjadeed, Tirbo Suri, Hillet Adam Khater, Hillet Abu Bakar, Hillet Nakari, and Hillet Haroun, Anka, and Anka El Gadima.

“During these three days of ravaging by the RSF militias, under the command of the National Intelligence and Security Service, the areas were bombarded by the Sudanese Air Force. After the attacks, the militias gathered at Baashim, most probably to plan a new campaign of attacks.”

Sudan: Sudan Signs USD 1,395,000 Project for Creating Job Opportunities for Youth in Sudan

3 April 2014 - 12:02am
Source: UN Development Programme Country: Sudan, South Sudan

Khartoum, Wednesday 19 February 2014, marked the first engagement between the Government of Sudan and the IBSA Fund for Poverty and Hunger Alleviation through the endorsement of an employment generation project, with resources provided by the IBSA fund amounting to USD 1,300,000 and additional contributions from the Government of Sudan amounting to USD 45,000 and UNDP amounting to USD 50,000.

The IBSA group brings together India, Brazil and South Africa in a joint effort with UNDP to address youth unemployment in Sudan.

The Federal Minister of Human Resources Development and Labor, Mrs. Ishraga Sayed Mahmoud, the State Minister of Finance and National Economy, Mr. Magdi Yassin, and the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, Mr. Ali Al-Za’tari, signed the two-year project document ‘Creating Job Opportunities for Youth in Sudan through Labor Intensive Work Opportunities’. The Project is the first for IBSA in Sudan. The project aims to create rapid employment opportunities for 2,000 young Sudanese in the Khartoum state

The signing ceremony was attended by H.E. MS. Amna Dhirar, State Minister of the Ministry of Human Resources Development and Labor; H.E. Mr. Taher Eidam, Undersecretary at the Ministry; H.E Antonio Carlos do Nascimento Pedro Ambassador of Brazil, H.E. Mr. Sanjay Kumar Verma Ambassador of India, H.E. Mr. Graham Maitland Ambassador of South Africa, Ms. Yvonne Helle, UNDP Country Director as well as senior representatives from the Ministry of Human Resources Development and Labor, Ministry of Finance and National Economy and the Khartoum State’s Ministry of Social Development.

The focus areas of the development fund established by the IBSA group include health, education, sanitation, food security, agriculture and capacity building sectors. It is managed by the UN Office for South-South Cooperation, mandated by the UN General Assembly to promote South-South Cooperation globally.

For further information, please contact:
Head of Poverty and MDGs unit : Ahmed Elhag email:ahmed.elhag@undp.org

World: Price Watch February 2014 Prices

2 April 2014 - 11:05pm
Source: Famine Early Warning System Network Country: Afghanistan, Benin, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Tajikistan, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, World, Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Sudan preview

KEY MESSAGES

  • In West Africa, regional 2013/14 grain harvests were 11 percent above average. Markets were well-supplied in February. Production shortfalls in eastern Niger and northern Chad resulted in atypical price increases. Institutional purchases were ongoing in Niger and Mali at normal levels in February. Rice imports from international markets contributed to food availability in coastal countries (Pages 3-5).

  • In East Africa, sorghum and millet prices continued to increase atypically in Sudan. Maize prices decreased in Kenya and southern Uganda with recent harvests. Maize prices remained atypically stable in Tanzania due to ample stocks from recent harvests and in Uganda due to reduced exports to South Sudan. The effects of localized conflict, the devaluation of local currencies, and high levels of inflation reinforced upward price trends in some areas (Pages 5-8).

  • In Southern Africa, maize prices increased as the lean season peaked. Prices remained above their respective 2013 and five-year average levels due to tight regional supplies, as well as strong export and institutional demand. Maize grain and meal prices continued to increase atypically in parts of Zambia and Zimbabwe. Rice, cassava, and beans reinforced food availability throughout the region (Pages 8-11).

  • In Haiti, local black bean and maize prices were stable due to generally well supplied markets. In Central America, red bean prices increased atypically in many places since, while remaining below their respective 2013 and five-year average levels. Local and imported rice prices remained stable throughout the region. Coffee export prices increased January and February 2014, after declining in 2013(Pages 11-13).

  • In Afghanistan and Tajikistan, wheat flour prices remained stable in February due to the availability recent above-average harvests and the availability of lower-priced imports from Kazakhstan (Pages 13-14).

  • International rice prices remained stable or decreased in February 2014.
    Maize prices were stable as global stocks replenished. Wheat prices varied due to concerns over export capacity of key exporting countries.
    Crude oil prices were stable (Pages 2-3).

South Sudan: UNICEF South Sudan Humanitarian Situation Report #16, 25 - 31 March 2014

2 April 2014 - 10:20pm
Source: UN Children's Fund Country: Sudan, South Sudan preview

Highlights

• Continued movement of people in and out of displacement sites and ongoing registration has increased the number of people internally displaced by over 100,000. It is estimated that there are currently 803,200 people displaced within the country and a further 254,600 have fled to Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan and Uganda.

• UNICEF has chartered a cargo aircraft to deliver critical WASH supplies to Malakal. UNICEF, escorted by UNMISS, secured key cold chain equipment from Malakal Teaching Hospital which was looted. This will enable the re-establishment of basic services and will facilitate safe storage of vaccines for immunization.

• UNICEF, WFP and FAO have developed a rapid response mechanism to address critical gaps in humanitarian needs of affected population beyond the Protection of Civilians (PoCs) sites and IDP sites, aiming to reach people in hard-to-access locations. Multi-sector aid response started in Akobo (Jonglei State), Melut (Upper Nile State) and Nyal, (Unity State). UNICEF aims to reach 250,000 people, including 132,500 children, with an integrated package of interventions by June.

• As part of the prevention of cholera outbreak, the second round of the Oral Cholera Vaccination (OCV) campaign conducted in Juba (Tomping) and Minkaman reached 54,200 people.

• UNICEF reiterates its call to donors to further increase the level of funding to enable UNICEF and its partners to meet the urgent humanitarian needs of the conflict affected population. Only 22% of the funding needs have been received.

South Sudan: ECHO Factsheet – 1 April 2014 - South Sudan

2 April 2014 - 9:29pm
Source: European Commission Humanitarian Aid department Country: Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Sudan, South Sudan

Key messages

  • Humanitarian situation in South Sudan is grave ever since armed violence broke out in the capital Juba on 15 December 2013 and subsequently spread to several states in South Sudan. Over 800 000 people have been internally displaced and more than 250 000 have sought refuge in neighboring countries.
    The dead and the wounded are estimated to be in the tens of thousands. There are 4.9 million people in need of humanitarian assistance.

  • A substantial improvement in the security situation is needed to allow unimpeded humanitarian access to all affected people and unhindered deployment of aid workers as well as relief supplies throughout the country. On 23 January 2014, an agreement on the cessation of hostilities in South Sudan was signed in Addis Ababa, but frequent violations of the agreement by both sides are reported.

  • The main humanitarian needs are for food, clean water, healthcare, shelter, sanitation, hygiene and protection. Current humanitarian response capacity is insufficient and might decrease further since the rainy season has started earlier and makes access to many parts of the country even more difficult. The UN has declared South Sudan a "level 3" crises.

  • The hostilities have added to an already challenging humanitarian situation, including inter-communal violence, frequent natural disasters and fighting between the government and non-state parties which have created huge humanitarian needs and displaced thousands of people.

  • The European Commission is making €50 million available in 2014 to respond to the unfolding and intensifying humanitarian crisis in the country. At this stage, the total EU support for 2013/14 amounts to over €300 million.

ECHO Factsheet – 1 April 2014 - South Sudan

Sudan: More than 127 South Darfur villages razed

2 April 2014 - 5:01pm
Source: Radio Dabanga Country: Sudan

Elements of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) in military uniforms, assisted by Abbala tribesmen, set fire to more than 127 villages in the areas southeast of Nyala on Monday and Tuesday.

“We can still see the smoke rising from the area southeast of the Ed Daein-Nyala railway,” sheikh Mahjoub Adam Tabaldiya of El Salam camp for the displaced told Radio Dabanga today (Wednesday).

“The Rapid Support militias, under supervision of the Sudan security apparatus, set fire to more than 127 villages in the past two days. They destroyed what remained after their attacks in the end of February, and set fire to the rest of the villages, abandoned by its inhabitants out of fear. They razed everything to the ground, even the water wells.”

Among the scorched villages, he mentioned Hijer, Tarka Tuli, Tabaldiyat, Um Gunja, Hillet Ahmed El Mustafa, Hillet Birka, Ardaba Aradeiba, Hashaba, and Jabarona.

The camp sheikh strongly condemned the attacks, and reiterated his appeal to the international community and Unamid to stop burning “these villages abandoned by its people and stop the killings, looting, rapes, and bring the perpetrators to justice”. He also demanded the return of the property of citizens and their livestock stolen in those areas. “They have to be fully compensated.”

Military uniforms

People who arrived from areas “south of the railway” told the coordinator for the newly displaced at Kalma camp in South Darfur, that “Rapid Support militias, wearing military uniforms, stormed the villages in Land Cruisers, accompanied by Abbala tribesmen on camels. They set fire to the remaining and abandoned houses by shooting at them. “Everything burned to ashes,” the coordinator reported to Radio Dabanga.

The newly displaced said that the scorched villages are located at a distance of about 40-45km southeast of Nyala, “from Duwana village in the north until the last village in the area of Ladob”.

These include the villages of Hijer East, Um Gunja, and Duwana, the coordinator said. Concerning the area southeast of Hijer, the villages of Bobay Awad, Hillet Abdel Aziz Ankoro, Sidir, and Sijani were destroyed. South of Ladob, Goz Mur, Abu Hamra, Um Ghubeisha A and B, Um Gora, and Tegadei were razed to the ground.

Abbala

The coordinator said that the purpose of attacking and setting these villages on fire for the second time is “clearly to prevent that the villagers will never return”. “The Abbala have entered our areas, and they are the ones who are cooperating with the central government.”

Sudan: Saraf Omra displaced reach Central Darfur’s Hamidiya camp

2 April 2014 - 4:55pm
Source: Radio Dabanga Country: Sudan

More than 2,000 people who fled the violence in the areas in Saraf Omra locality, North Darfur, have arrived to the Hamidiya camp for the displaced in Zalingei locality, Central Darfur, during the past few weeks.

“People who fled from the attacks by Musa Hilal’s militia forces in March on Saraf Omra town and villages in the vicinity, are arriving on a daily basis at the Hamidiya camp,” the coordinator of the Central Darfur camps for the displaced reported to Radio Dabanga. “These people, are now residing in Block 6, have not been registered yet. ”

The coordinator described the living conditions of the newly displaced as critical. He said that he “fears the worst for them”. “There are about 320 families who arrived to the camp a year ago. They had fled the fighting in Jebel ‘Amer in North Darfur. Though these people were registered by the High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) at that time, they have not received any kind of aid. Diseases are spreading fast, especially among children and mothers.”

He attributed the deterioration of the humanitarian situation in the camps to the “lack of seriousness of the government, and the restrictions put on activities by relief organisations, in case they are not expelled”.

“The government is trying to dismantle the camps through harassment and expulsion of humanitarian organisations. The aim is to force the displaced to return to their villages, despite the rampant insecurity and the continuing terrorism causing tens of thousands new displaced.”

Ethiopia: UNHCR, WFP Leaders Witness Shocking State of South Sudanese Refugees during Ethiopia Visit

2 April 2014 - 4:07pm
Source: World Food Programme, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Country: Ethiopia, Sudan, South Sudan

Geneva, 02.04.2014

ADDIS ABABA, 2 April 2014 - As tens of thousands of South Sudanese continue to flee their conflict-torn homeland, the heads of the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the UN World Food Programme (WFP) travelled to Ethiopia's border region of Gambella from neighboring South Sudan to meet refugees who recently fled the conflict.

The refugees, mostly women and children, reported walking up to three weeks before reaching the border. Many described surviving on grass, wild fruits and leaves. They were visibly exhausted, traumatized and famished, and scores of young children are registering an alarmingly high malnutrition rates.

During their visit to Gambella, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres and WFP's Executive Director Ertharin Cousin, together with humanitarian partners and Ethiopian officials, visited the newly-built Kule Camp which houses over 23,000 South Sudanese refugees and the Pagak border entry point, where hundreds of people cross daily from South Sudan.

“The physical and psychological condition of these people is shocking. This is a tragedy I had hoped I would not see again,” Mr. Guterres said. “Many of these people are becoming refugees for the second time.”

Altogether, over 88,000 South Sudanese have sought refuge in Ethiopia since the conflict erupted in mid-December 2013. The two Agency chiefs expressed concern that the numbers could climb sharply in the coming months if the conflict does not come to an end, and worry that lack of funds could thwart an adequate humanitarian response.

"Today we witnessed a mother arrive in Ethiopia where help was available, only to lose her youngest child, who was too weakened by their journey. This is a political crisis that is now evolving into a humanitarian catastrophe,” Ms. Cousin said. "We must work together and redouble our efforts to ensure that people receive nutritious food, clean water and other basic services on both sides of the border, so that not another mother cries like she did today because she loses her child."

WFP delivers high energy biscuits and other food (sorghum or wheat, pulses, vegetable oil, sugar and salt) at the border points and in camps, along with fortified nutritional supplements to those malnourished, particularly children under five years old, pregnant women and nursing mothers.

UNHCR and the Government of Ethiopia, through its refugee agency, ARRA, coordinate the response with humanitarian partners. UNHCR is providing medical assistance, shelter in the new camps – Lietchuor and Kule – as well as water and sanitation, core relief items and other protection services to the arriving refugees at the major points of entry. UNHCR has prioritized vulnerable groups, in particular children with severe acute malnutrition and their families for relocation to the new camps. In addition, UNHCR and ARRA continue registration of arriving individuals.

The two UN chiefs arrived in Ethiopia following a two-day visit to South Sudan, where they met displaced people, humanitarian partners and discussed the crisis with President Salva Kiir and other government officials.

“Peace is an absolute must,” Mr. Guterres said. “The international community must come together to do everything possible to press the parties to reach a political solution and forge peace. If there is no peace soon, I fear there could be a true humanitarian calamity.”

Last week, WFP launched a major cross-border operation from Ethiopia, to deliver roughly 15,000 metric tons of food by air, river boat and truck to several hundred thousand South Sudanese and Sudanese refugees living in remote and inaccessible parts of South Sudan. Ms. Cousin expressed her appreciation to the Ethiopian government for authorizing this corridor noting truck delivery is also significantly less expensive than the airdrops WFP is also having to deploy.

Nearly 255,000 South Sudanese have sought refuge in the neighboring countries of Uganda, Kenya and Sudan, as well as Ethiopia. The massive influx is straining the humanitarian response.

UNHCR has deployed a Mi-8 transport helicopter, with room for 20 passengers and a cargo capacity of four metric tons, to the Gambella operation to assist refugees arriving at the Akobo entry point, a hard-to-reach location.

UNHCR is leading an inter-agency regional appeal for more than US$ 370 million to fund the refugee response in Ethiopia, Kenya, Republic of Sudan and Uganda.

WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. On average, WFP reaches more than 90 million people with food assistance in 80 countries each year.

UNHCR leads and co-ordinates international action to protect refugees and safeguard their rights and work for their well-being.

Follow us on Twitter: @refugees and @wfp

For more information please contact:

Elizabeth Bryant, WFP/Ethiopia, Mob. +251 93 007 7708 elizabeth.bryant@wfp.org

Gregory Barrow, WFP/London, Tel. +44 20 72409001, Mob. +44 7968 008474 gregory.barrow@wfp.org

Bettina Luescher, WFP/New York, Tel. +1 646 5566909, Mob. +1 646 8241112 bettina.luescher@wfp.org

Steve Taravella, WFP/Washington DC, Tel. +1 202 653 1149 Mob. +1 202 770 5993 steve.taravella@wfp.org

Melissa Fleming, UNHCR, Mob. +41 79 557 9122, fleming@unhcr.org

Kisut Gebre Egzibher, UNHCR/Ethiopia: Mob. +251 91 120 8901 gegziabk@unhcr.org

END

Sudan: Sudan: UNHCR Operational Update for South Sudan, 20 – 26 March 2014

2 April 2014 - 3:26pm
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees Country: Sudan, South Sudan preview

  • The Government of Sudan this week announced the requirement for all foreign nationals in the country to legalize their residency in accordance with immigration rules by 1st April 2014.
  • New arrivals into Sudan continued during the reporting period. Total arrivals are now estimated at 58,885. Significant arrivals continue to be recorded in the While Nile State, South Kordofan and Khartoum states.
  • An inter‐agency needs assessment mission to South Kordofan state commenced on 25 March. The joint mission has participation from UNHCR, OCHA, UNICEF, WHO, UNDSS, Care International, IOM, ASSIST, Sudanese Red Crescent Society (SRCS), Mubadiroon, the Water and Environment Sanitation (WES) department, the Ministry of Health, and the Humanitarian Aid Commission, and will assess the humanitarian needs of approximately 8,000 new arrivals in South Kordofan State.