SUDAN: IRIN News Briefs [19991001]

SUDAN: IRIN News Briefs [19991001]

SUDAN: IRIN News Briefs, 1 October

Sudan and Chad sign security agreement

Sudan and neighbouring Chad on Tuesday reached a cooperation agreement in the areas of security, specifically against banditry, on refugees and on border demarcation. The agreement provides for reactivating joint border committees which will hold monthly meetings to address security problems and also try to curb smuggling and armed banditry, the Sudanese news agency (SUNA) reported. The agreement stipulates that a joint technical committee be formed to meet Sudanese and Chadian refugees in Al-Ginaina [Sudan] and Adre [Chad] respectively. The aim is to encourage the refugees to return home. The two countries also agreed to carry out demarcation of the boundaries before the beginning of the new year.

Student unrest

Students from the Nilayn and Sudan universities on Monday took to the streets of Khartoum to protest against the arrest of 50 of their colleagues who had demonstrated against the government. AFP reported on Tuesday that student demonstrations against the government had spread from Khartoum to Omdurman and towns in the Nile and northern states. Quoting a local newspaper, the agency said 190 students in Omdurman had been charged with "inciting riots" and that unrest had spread to Atbara, where security forces arrested an unknown number of students, and to Merowe where 12 students were injured in clashes with riot police. The faculties of arts and education at Merowe university have been closed.

Floods pose "considerable obstacles" to development

A flood situation report by the UN Disaster Management Team (UNDMT) said national and international experts have agreed the cumulative effects of floods on the social fabric, the physical infrastructure and national resources in Sudan pose considerable obstacles to the development of the country. This conclusion was based on the results of a joint government, UN and NGO mission to flood-affected areas, official flood emergency plans and consultations with federal and state authorities.

The report noted that in Khartoum State, severe flooding in the provinces of Umbadda, Karari and Omdurman caught people and the state authorities by surprise. Over 6,000 houses were completely destroyed and another 6,000 partly damaged, directly affecting some 90,000 people. The collapse of thousands of pit latrines resulted in the pollution of water supplies and large amounts of stagnant water have led to an increase in malaria, diarrhoea and other water-borne diseases. In response, the state authorities developed an emergency plan combining short and medium-term measures.

Agencies coordinating efforts to help flood victims

Meanwhile, UN-OCHA said that the frequency of major flood events in Sudan has underscored the need for strengthening countrywide flood preparedness and "response mechanisms". UN agencies such as WFP and UNDP have expressed their willingness to assist in such efforts. International NGOs like ADRA have also expressed their intention to join "concerted actions for improving the response and preparedness capacity of the country". OCHA will serve as a channel for cash contributions for immediate relief needs.

SCF to provide supplementary and therapeutic feeding

In response to the deteriorating levels of malnutrition among the internally displaced persons (IDPs) in South Darfur, Save the Children Fund (SCF) said it will provide supplementary and therapeutic feeding in five camps. In its latest emergency bulletin, SCF said it will also provide technical support to feeding centres being run by Oxfam and local NGOs in the other four camps. UNICEF will provide the special food supplies needed for this work, the organisation said.


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Copyright (c) UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs 1999

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Editor: Dr. Ali B. Ali-Dinar, Ph.D

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