Sudan: UN distributes food, other emergency aid to 38,000 civilians displaced by recent conflict in Darfur

Khartoum, Sudan (PANA) - The United Nations on Monday said it was able to forward
badly-needed humanitarian and emergency aid assistance to dozens of thousands of women and children who have been affected by the recent clash between government and rebel forces in Darfur region of western Sudan.

A press release by the UN, obtained here by PANA, said the world body along with partners have distributed food relief and other humanitarian aid to the 38,000 civilians - the vast majority of them women and children - who have been displaced by the recent conflict in Darfur’s Jebel Marra area.

Other life-saving assistance, delivered mostly by a 24-truck convoy escorted by the African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) that arrived in the area on 11 February 2016, includes water, shelter, cooking equipment, latrines, medical supplies and nutritional supplement for malnourished children.

The release said hostilities in the Jebel Marra, that escalated mid-January, have forced thousands of civilians to flee the mountainous area that straddles three Darfur states, many walking for miles with no food or water. The 38,000 who have received assistance are in three locations in North Darfur – 23,000 in Sortony (next to a UNAMID base), 13,000 in Tawilla (in an established camp for displaced people) and over 1,000 in Kebkabiya town.

In Sortony, a remote area with no established humanitarian presence, 62 per cent of the
newly-displaced are children and 28 per cent are women.

The release added that thousands are also reported to have fled into Central Darfur but the UN has not yet been able to verify reported displacement or ascertain and respond to humanitarian needs.

“Emergency supplies have been delivered to the newly-displaced in North Darfur, but longer term support will be required as long as it remains unsafe for them to return to their villages.
Displacement could also increase if hostilities continue,” said the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan, Ms. Marta Ruedas.

“The United Nations is calling for a cessation of hostilities and is urging all parties to the conflict to allow international humanitarian workers to reach displaced people in Central Darfur," she said.

In addition to the emergency assistance provided, the UN and partners have also deployed medical staff and child protection officers.

Last week, Sudan’s army said it has cleaned 17 locations and inflicted heavy losses on Darfur rebels in Jabal Marra area.

The state-run Radio Omdurman and the Sudan News agency quoted army spokesman, Brig.-Gen. Ahmed Khalifa al Shami, as saying the army has now “imposed its control” on Jabal Marra area and secured all the roads in the area.

He said rebels in the area have committed over 80 breaches to a ceasefire announcement by President Bashir to allow for a national Dialogue initiative, now at its final stage of deliberations.

The army said in the past few days, people have been following the “repeated aggression and ambushes” by rebels against the government Armed Forces, saying there was a need for the army to take action and clean these “insurgency pockets”.
-0- PANA MO/VAO 15Feb2016

15 february 2016 19:10:28

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