UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA - AFRICAN STUDIES CENTER
SUDAN: News Briefs, 21 July
Khartoum planning to relocate displaced people
The Khartoum state authorities have announced plans to relocate some 230,000 displaced people in the vicinity of the capital, humanitarian sources told IRIN on Wednesday. The announcement was made last week to aid organisations by the Humanitarian Aid Department (HAD) in Khartoum, in keeping with the government's decision to continue with the replanning of Greater Khartoum.
Observers said the plan provides for moving people from the main camps of Jebl Aulia, Mayo Farms, Wad el Bashir and El Salaam to areas further east. The observers note that the majority of displaced people come from southern and western areas of Sudan, and live a "hand to mouth existence". Famine and conflict in their home areas have sent them flocking towards Khartoum since the mid-80s. Noting this is not the first time displaced people have been relocated around Khartoum, the sources expressed concern over the timing with the onset of the rainy season. The HAD commissioner has reportedly agreed to discuss the relocation plan with the humanitarian community and said full consideration will be given to the potential hardships, especially during the coming rainy season.
Unity state fighting reportedly spreading
Faction fighting which has been raging in the oil-rich Unity state, appears to spreading, the BBC reported on Tuesday. It said clashes between the South Sudan Defence Force (SSDF) of Riak Machar and the splinter SSDF-United - both of which have made a peace deal with the Sudanese government - had now moved to Upper Nile state. SSDF-United accuses Machar of collaborating with the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA). Its spokesman Gathoth Gatkuoth claimed four opponents had been killed and six captured, and that the fighting was continuing. However, the claims were denied by the SSDF which said there was no fighting in the area.
Peace talks enter third day
The BBC said although claims of SSDF collusion with the SPLA are not new, they come at an embarrassing time when Machar is part of the government delegation negotiating with the rebels at peace talks in Nairobi. The talks, brokered by the Inter-Governmental Authority for Development (IGAD), went into their third day on Wednesday after closed door negotiations the previous day. AFP quoted a participant as saying dramatic progress in resolving the 16 year-old conflict was not expected.
Fighting prevents UNICEF measles vaccination
The UN Children's Fund, UNICEF, said heavy fighting in the western Upper Nile region was preventing a measles vaccination campaign from reaching tens of thousands of children. In a press release, received by IRIN on Wednesday, UNICEF said nearly 50,000 children under-five were unreachable in the towns of Baw, Duar, Koch, Leer and Nhialdiu. In some cases, fighting had interrupted active vaccination campaigns, UNICEF added. It said that along with Operation Lifeline Sudan, it could reach about 150,000 children in Upper Nile and Jonglei regions, if flight bans, conflict and the onset of the rainy season did not hinder access to remote areas. UNICEF also said the insecurity had probably forced thousands of people to flee the area, but OLS had not been able to investigate immediate humanitarian needs.
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Copyright (c) UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs 1999
Editor: Dr. Ali B. Ali-Dinar, Ph.D
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