Sudan: Humanitarian update on Blue Nile and South Kordofan states

27 September, 2011
Refugees from Blue Nile State cross into Western Ethiopia with all they need for a long exile. Credit: UNHCR/K.G. Egziabher
Refugees from Blue Nile State cross into Western Ethiopia with all they need for a long exile. Credit: UNHCR/K.G. Egziabher

Fighting between the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) in Blue Nile State continues. According to the Sudanese Red Crescent Society, the highest concentration of internally displaced people (IDPs) in government-controlled areas is currently in the south-west of the state where there are reported to be about 25,000 people.

The Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC) has informed humanitarian actors that a Government-led task force has been established in Ed Damazine, the capital of Blue Nile State, to coordinate humanitarian assistance there. According to the HAC, the Sudanese Government is providing assistance to vulnerable people, in partnership with national NGOs and the Sudanese Red Cross, and has requested that all support intended for the people affected by the conflict in the State be planned and organized through this task force.

The Government of Sudan continues to impose heavy restrictions on international humanitarian organizations. While the authorities are encouraging humanitarian actors to send their national staff back to Blue Nile State, no travel permissions have been granted to UN agencies.

It therefore remains difficult to estimate the number of IDPs in the State. In SPLM-N controlled areas, there are reports that some 11,000 people from Kurmuk have been displaced to the southern part of the State, close to the border with South Sudan. A further 4,000 refugees are currently in Upper Nile State in South Sudan.

People continue to flee the violence in Blue Nile State into western Ethiopia. According to UNHCR, an estimated 25,000 refugees have crossed the border since 3 September, when the influx started. Expecting the number of refugees moving into Ethiopia to continue to rise, UNHCR and partners today appealed for US$18.3 million of aid.

In South Kordofan State, international NGO staff in SPLM-N areas are trying to gather more precise information on the numbers of displaced people, despite access restrictions and continued fighting and insecurity. Humanitarian workers in South Sudan report that some 10,000 people have arrived in Unity State since hostilities began.

More>> OCHA Situation Report #20

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