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
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Photogallery Pope's Easter Prayer: Peace in Ukraine, Syria

Pontiff also calls for end to terrorist acts in Nigeria, violence in Iraq, and success in peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians More

Abdullah Holds Lead in Afghan Presidential Election

Country's Election Commission says that with half of the ballots counted, former FM remains in the lead with 44 percent of the vote More

Russia-Ukraine Crisis Could Trigger Cyber War

As tensions between Kyiv and Moscow escalate, so too has frequency of online attacks targeting government, news and financial sites 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.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid