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25 September 2012 A return to fighting in Sudan’s Southern Kordofan state between Government forces and a rebel group has unleashed a new wave of refugees seeking sanctuary from the violence, the United Nations refugee agency warned today.
According to media reports, intense fighting between Sudanese Armed Forces and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA-North), including ground assaults and aerial bombardments, has prompted the daily exodus of some 100 refugees to flee into the border town of Yida in neighbouring Unity state.
“As tension is building up again in border areas, we remain extremely concerned about the safety of the refugees in Yida settlement, which is located in close proximity to the border,” Melissa Fleming, a spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), told a media briefing in Geneva.
“The presence of a refugee settlement in highly militarized border areas close to a conflict zone hampers efforts to preserve the civilian and humanitarian character of asylum,” Ms. Fleming added, pointing out that the safety of the refugees in Yida could not be guaranteed and that UNHCR was working with the refugee community to relocate the settlement to a safer location.
She noted that the continuing violence coupled with an acute lack of food would add to the refugee flow and said UNHCR was anticipating that the Yida camp would swell from its current 64,229 inhabitants to an estimated 80,000 by the end of the year.
Turning to the ongoing crisis in South Sudan’s Upper Nile state, where 23 cases of hepatitis E have been confirmed across the Jamam, Yusuf Batil and Gendrassa camps and 16 fatalities have already been documented, Ms. Fleming voiced concern that some 105,000 refugees could soon be cut off by the rainy season’s heavy downpours and consequent flooding.
The Upper Nile region is largely affected by seasonal rains and is vulnerable to further environmental damage from floodwaters coming from the Ethiopian highlands.
“Many roads are already flooded and may soon become impassable,” Ms. Fleming said, noting that in some areas, up to three kilometres of supply routes were already submerged by 50 centimetres of water.
She also expressed particular concern for the refugees in Doro camp, located near the town of Bunj, where some 75 families have been affected by flooding. The families have been relocated to dry areas, she said, and targeted assistance, such as blankets to children under the age of five, has been provided. Moreover, 14 tons of nutrition assistance reached Doro over the weekend.
There are close to 201,000 Sudanese refugees currently in South Sudan, with more than 170,000 located in Upper Nile and Unity states. They have arrived from Sudan’s South Kordofan and Blue Nile states after fleeing conflict and food shortages over recent months.
UNHCR is currently seeking $186 million in funding to provide the Sudanese refugees with assistance. However, the agency has only received 40 per cent of this amount.
Article source: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=42991&Cr=sudan&Cr1=
The governor of South Darfur, Hamad Ismail Hamad, announced that his government and the Ministry of Mining agreed to open gold selling points in Nyala, the state’s capital. He made this announcement during a press conference on Monday, 24 September, in Khartoum.
During the conference, Hamad explained that large quantities of gold are smuggled out of Sudan due to the scarcity of official sales outlets. He revealed that South Darfur produces about 10kg of gold per day.
Hamad also said that about 25.000 young people are currently working in traditional gold mine exploration in four areas of the state.
In addition, the governor demanded that South Darfur’s railway line is reopened. He pointed out that transporting one ton of goods by truck costs 8.000 Sudanese pounds (SDG), while by train it would cost only 350 SDG.
Article source: http://www.radiodabanga.org/node/36163
Residents from the Dreige camp in South Darfur, are complaining about the deteriorating security conditions, a camp’s representative told Radio Dabanga on Monday, 24 September. He explained that residents are suffering repeated attacks from Sudanese Central Reserve Forces troops (Abu Tira) stationed near the camp.
The camp’s youth representative said Abu Tira forces often assault the displaced persons, explaining that looting and random air shootings are common practices.
He pointed out that camp’s representatives met with the Abu Tira commander. They asked him to stop his forces from entering the camp when wearing military uniforms or carrying weapons, and attacking its residents, Radio Dabanga has learned.
However, according to the source, the commander said his troops are operating in the area and that, due to the instability of security conditions, he could not stop his men from entering the camp.
The youth representative appealed to UNAMID to come to the camp and fulfill its duty.
The same source told Radio Dabanga that the school drop-out at the Dreige camp is sharply increasing among children. He attributed the drop-out to lack of adequate schools, adding that there are only four preschools and two kindergartens at the camp for a population of about 40.000 people.
The camp’s representative stressed that several children are no longer attending classes due to the limited capacity of schools.
He appealed to organizations working in the field of education to open new schools at the Dreige camp.
5.000 names missing
The youth representative also informed Radio Dabanga that 5.000 names of the displaced from Dreige camp are missing from a cards’ registration list that began last June.
He said that the World Food Program (WFP) had asked the displaced for their fingerprints in June, so that new cards could be made. However, camp’s residents were surprised when 5.000 people did not receive their cards, the source recounted.
The WFP explained that the names are missing because there were some problems with the computer during the data registration entry, the representative said.
According to the source, the conditions of the displaced in Dreige camp are very difficult. He stressed that the disappearance of the 5.000 names from the cards’ registration list only makes the lives of the displaced worse, especially after the WFP reduced the food rations.
The camp’s representative appealed to the WFP to review the names and provide cards to those whose names went missing.
Article source: http://www.radiodabanga.org/node/36165