Sudan: Abyei displacement now estimated at 96,000

8 June, 2011
Children play in a returnee camp on the outskirts of Aweil in Northern Bar El Ghazal, Southern Sudan. Credit: IRIN/Siegfried Modola
Children play in a returnee camp on the outskirts of Aweil in Northern Bar El Ghazal, Southern Sudan. Credit: IRIN/Siegfried Modola

The security situation in Abyei remains tense and unpredictable with reports of sporadic gunfire, and tukuls being burnt, according to the latest OCHA situation report.

Population movements remain fluid, but as of 5 June, some 96,000 people are estimated to have been displaced by the Abyei violence. IOM and the Southern Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Commission (SSRRC) have registered over 66,200 people since the crisis escalated on 21 May. However, humanitarian agencies are concerned by the location of the thousands of people who are known to have fled Abyei, but whose whereabouts is still not known.

People who fled Agok in the days immediately after the violence in Abyei are now returning in increasing numbers. On 3 June, 10 buses organized by the Abyei Area Administration helped move people from Turalei to Agok. Protection partners are focusing on ensuring that all movements are voluntary, in coordination with SSRRC and the County Commissioner. Child protection teams from Save the Children, UNICEF and World Vision International are coordinating with the Ministry of Social Development and community organizations across three states, to register children who have been separated from their families.

The humanitarian community continues to contribute critical assistance and to pre-position essential supplies before the rains cut off overland access to IDP locations. As of 5 June, WFP has provided 1,156 MT tons of food to 80,848 displaced people from Abyei in Warrap, the Abyei area, Western Bahr el Ghazal, Northern Bahr el Ghazal and Unity State. This will continue as more displaced people are identified.

Government of South Sudan officials have expressed concern that the displacement could last for at least six months, and that more shelter will be needed. They are procuring family tents and rubb halls to accommodate people.

Agencies and NGOs including Medair, Catholic Relief Services and Samaritan’s Purse have so far distributed non-food kits to approximately 58,110 displaced people in various locations, including Mayon Abyun and Turalei. The kits contain plastic sheeting, mosquito nets, cooking pots, soap, jerry cans, blankets, and sleeping mats.

No disease outbreaks have been reported, but young children are being immunized against measles and polio in several displacement areas, and being screened for malnutrition. There are also concerns that host communities are already stretched, as families traditionally reduce their food consumption during the period before the first harvest of the year, and as last year’s household stocks are running out.

More>> OCHA Situation Report #11

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