Sudan – On the 10th and 11th of December 2013, IOM Sudan arranged for the safe departure of 60 Eritrean refugees to be resettled to Canada from Sudan. IOM Staff from Sudan escorted the refugees to Calgary and Toronto.
The Government of Canada is the first in the top five resettlement countries accepting refugees from Sudan. A total of 711 refugees have been assisted for resettlement from Sudan to Canada in 2013. The other countries on the top five are Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and Australia.
One refugee traveling on 11 December said he felt “happy yet a bit sad departing to the new country, as I do not know what is waiting for me in Canada, but I am sure I will be OK and will adapt soon.”
Prior to the departure to the resettlement countries, refugees received cultural orientation to prepare themselves to adjust and reintegrate in Canada. The IOM Migration Health Unit performed medical screening to ensure that all refugees moving under the auspices of IOM were fit to travel and that they received appropriate medical attention and assistance during all phases of the travel.
IOM in Sudan has been providing a safe, reliable and cost-effective transportation arrangement for refugees in Sudan accepted for resettlement since 2005. There were three hundred fifty two (352) refugees resettled to Canada, Australia and Europe in 2005.
In the time span of 8 years, the number of resettlement countries who joined in providing a durable solution for refugees in Sudan increased to 16. By the end of November 2013, a total of 12,134 refugees, majority being Eritrean refugees, have departed to Canada, Norway, Sweden, Australia, Switzerland, USA, the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Italy, New Zealand, Denmark, France, Belgium, Germany and Spain.
The refugees are accepted for resettlement under the Government Refugee Quota and Family Reunification Programmes. IOM Sudan works in close coordination with the United Nation High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the Commission for Refugees (COR) and the Alien Department of the Ministry of Interior (MOI), Khartoum International Airport Authority in all stages of the pre departure preparation and processing for accepted refugees and their final travel departure from Sudan.
“IOM hopes that more countries will contribute offering a durable solution approach for refugees in Sudan,” said Ester T. Gigir, IOM Programme Cooordinator for Movement and Migration Management.
UNHCR reported that more than 150.000 refugee are in Sudan. This number consists of protracted refugees and new arrival refugees in which Eritrean represents the majority of the caseloads.
For more information, please contact
Tel.: +249922406645, +249156554600/1/2
Given the limits on access to rebel-held areas of Sudan’s Blue Nile state, there has been little information made public about the situation civilians face. In an effort to document the scope of their needs, an international non-governmental organization conducted a series of verification missions to rebel-held parts of the state in mid-2013. Due to security concerns, the organization wishes to remain anonymous. However, to raise awareness about the situation, they have requested the Enough Project make public their findings.
Since September 2011, civilians in Sudan’s Blue Nile state have suffered a systematic campaign of collective punishment characterized by aerial bombardment and ethnic cleansing. Following disputed elections, a failed attempt to disarm rebels in Blue Nile quickly developed into a full-fledged armed conflict between the Sudan Armed Forces, or SAF, and a coalition of rebel groups, the Sudan Revolutionary Forces, or SRF. Many sought refuge in neighboring South Sudan and Ethiopia. Those remaining, particularly civilians from Malik Agar’s Ingessana Hills were subjected to the SAF’s ground offensive in early 2013, leading to another wave of displacement. As of June 2013, according to the Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Agency, there were approximately 119,220 internally displaced persons, or IDPs, in Blue Nile.4 Now, as a renewed dry season campaign begins, at least 2,000 more have already sought refuge in South Sudan. As a result, at least 121,000 refugees from Blue Nile are currently in South Sudan’s Upper Nile state, and 38,000 have found their way to Ethiopia.
The ongoing conflict has created a critical humanitarian situation. During the first half of 2013, there was a significant opening of access to government-controlled areas in Blue Nile state. The World Food Programme delivered food assistance to 84,000 people across five localities, and the United Nations refugee agency delivered emergency shelter and non-food items to 5,000 people.
However, the Sudanese government still denies humanitarian aid organizations access to rebel-held areas of the state. According to the U.N., an estimated 185,000 people needed relief assistance in Blue Nile as of September 30, 2013. Heavy flooding in August further complicated the tenuous food security situation in the area. According to the October 2013 report from the Famine Early Warning Systems Network, or FEWS Net, displaced populations in areas of Blue Nile state controlled by Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, face “crisis” levels of food insecurity. Anonymous researchers working in Blue Nile state found:
• A dry spell in June and July of 2013 burnt the first seeds that were planted in large swathes of SPLM-N controlled areas, affecting the harvest of 75 percent of the population. Local markets also lack essential commodities, and widespread poverty among host communities makes them unable to stimulate the market.
• Internally Displaced Persons, or IDPs, and host communities have been using a variety of coping mechanisms to deal with food insecurity. Families have reduced the number of meals they consume to just one per day. Many interviewed families confirmed that they have only been eating porridge. Other common copings mechanisms used include feeding on wild fruits, leaves, and roots; families with livestock are selling or slaughtering their animals. General observations of hair and skin color indicated malnutrition among all ages, particularly for children below five years of age.
EAST JEBEL MARRA
(12 Dec.) – A family of four was killed by aerial bombardments on Thursday in East Jebel Marra.
Speaking to Radio Dabanga, a relative of the deceased said that two MiG jet fighters of the Sudanese Air Force dropped six bombs on the area of Nimra in East Jebel Marra at about 10am
Bahreldin Bashir Saleh, his wife Um El Kheir Yagoub Yahya, their son Jamal (12) and daughter, Samah (7), all died instantly.
The relative reiterated earlier appeals of East Jebel Marra residents to the UN and the Security Council to immediately intervene and “stop the indiscriminate aerial bombardments by the government and protect the civilians in Darfur”.