Sudan: UNAMID says children, women most affected in ongoing fighting in Darfur

Khartoum, Sudan (PANA) - Most of the people affected by recent fighting in the restive Darfur region of western Sudan between government forces and rebels were women and children, according to the head of the joint African Union–United Nations peacekeeping mission there.

UNAMID’s Joint Special Representative, Martin Uhomoibhi said Monday at a press briefing in Khartoum that since mid-January 2016, renewed fighting between the Government of Sudan Forces and Sudan Liberation Army/Abdul Wahid faction has led to displacement of tens of thousands of civilians in and around the Jebel Mara area into North, Central and South Darfur.

“Unfortunately most of those displaced are children and women as is the case wherever there is an armed conflict on our planet,” Uhomoibhi said.

He explained that from the outset of the crisis, thousands of civilians turned to UNAMID to seek refuge and protection, with a majority choosing to settle in close proximity to the UNAMID team sites at Sortoni and Tawilla in North Darfur.

Putting the number of those affected at approximately 70,000 civilians, he said UNAMID was working in close collaboration with the UN Country Team to provide water and hygiene, besides holding sensitization and risk awareness sessions on the dangers of unexploded ordnances (UXOs), especially for displaced children.

Despite the significant efforts made to date, he lamented that “the protection and humanitarian situation remains critical."

“I would like to impress upon the Government of Sudan authorities to allow UNAMID freedom of movement and access for humanitarian actors to reach vulnerable populations in need of assistance, particularly in Central and South Darfur areas that have not yet been visited. I also urge both parties to the Jebel Mara conflict to agree to a cessation of hostilities,” Uhomoibhi said.

Meanwhile, he commended the government of Sudan for signing a roadmap that seeks to put an end to the conflict by bringing together government and opposition forces, including Justice and Equality Movement and Sudan Liberation Movement/Minni Minawi.
-0- PANA MO/AR 4April2016

04 april 2016 18:24:30

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