News / Africa

Thousands of Displaced Sudanese in Need of Food, Water, Shelter

A machinegun-mounted truck manned by members of the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) drive past burning businesses and homesteads in the center of Abyei, central Sudan in this handout photograph released by United Nations Mission in Sudan on May 28, 2011
A machinegun-mounted truck manned by members of the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) drive past burning businesses and homesteads in the center of Abyei, central Sudan in this handout photograph released by United Nations Mission in Sudan on May 28, 2011

Multimedia

Audio
Joe DeCapua

Efforts continue to find, register and provide assistance to the many thousands of people who’ve fled the Sudanese town of Abyei and surrounding region.

The exodus south began around May 20th, after fighting between northern and southern forces in the oil-rich area. The northern Sudan Armed Forces are now in control.

The International Organization for Migration [IOM] said the displaced are in urgent need of food, shelter and sanitation facilities. However, there are differing figures on the exact number of internally displaced persons [IDPs].

IOM’s spokesman in Juba, Gerard Waite, said the southern Sudan government estimates the number of IDPs at between 100,000 and 120,000. But the U.N. has a lower estimate of about 76,000. The IOM has registered about 40,000 of those.

Left in a hurry

“They left Abyei at very, very, short notice, of course, as is characteristic during the displacement for conflict reasons. They’ve brought very few items with them. There’s a very high proportion of women and children amongst the group. A lot of the energy people have…has been expended on moving their family and carrying their children,” he said.

The rainy season is making conditions worse.

“There’s very little natural shelter there. There are very few materials for which to build shelters and very, very few spare resources for the host communities to share with the displaced,” said Waite.

On the move

The migration from Abyei brought the displaced to Agok and beyond.

“The largest group of people that we have registered have moved further south than Agok. All the information we’re getting from Agok indicates that it’s quite a highly militarized area and therefore there’s a tendency for people to move onward fairly rapidly. Though we are fairly sure that there is quite a large population still in Agok,” he said.

It’s estimated that population may be as high as 5,000. Most of the displaced, however, are further south in Turalie, Wunrok and Mayon Abun in Warrap State.

Tracking teams

The IOM has tracking teams in Northern Bahr el Ghazal and Unity States.

“While the majority of people have moved more or less directly south, the pattern of displacement is quite varied. This is a very similar pattern that we saw during the displacement, which some may recall, in May of 2008, where actually quite a large proportion of the population from Abyei displaced during that period went to Northern Bahr el Ghazal. People obviously making their choices based on where they think they will be able to access the most resources,” said the IOM spokesman.

Choices may also be based on family or ethnic affiliations.

On the road

On Tuesday, an IOM convoy of 13 trucks left Juba carrying 140 drums of fuel to support humanitarian organizations aiding the displaced.

“We have a particular problem with fuel in that area. There has been for some time a restriction on commercial traffic between the north of Sudan and south Sudan. And so fuel resources in the area are scarce and there’s a risk, as yet, that fuel shortages will hinder the assistance operation,” he said.

You May Like

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countriesi
X
December 16, 2014 2:14 PM
Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.
Video

Video Indonesian Province to Expand Sharia Law

Indonesia has the world’s largest Muslim population and a legal system based on Dutch civil law and Indonesian government regulations. But in a 2001 compromise with separatists, Aceh province in Sumatra island’s north was allowed to implement Sharia law. Since then, religious justice has become increasingly strict. VOA correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh.
Video

Video Some Russian Businesses Thrive in Poor Economy

Capital flight, the fall in oil prices and Western sanctions are pushing Russia's staggering economy into recession. But not companies are suffering. The ruble’s drop in value has benefited exporters as well as businesses targeting increasingly frugal customers. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.

All About America

AppleAndroid