Sudan: Ethiopian refugees face increasingly difficult conditions as more people flee their homes (09.08.2021)

Ethiopian refugees in the camps in south-east Sudan face increasingly dire living conditions.

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, August 9, 2021 – As fighting in Ethiopia’s Tigray region and other areas in the north of the country forces more people to flee their homes, Ethiopian refugees in the camps in south-east Sudan face increasingly dire living conditions. Food, clean water, shelter and sanitation are desperately insufficient, and an increasing number of people suffer from malnutrition and diseases like malaria and hepatitis E. The onset of the rainy season worsened the situation and some refugees are choosing to undertake dangerous migration routes or move to other areas of the country.

“Everyone is just trying to make their life better, but youth are in a bad situation and they’re turning to drugs and alcohol. They’re starting to have psychological problems. There are also all the children separated from their families who are here alone,” said Daniel, a 23-year-old student living in Um Rakouba camp.

Besides the harsh living conditions, thousands of refugees are unable to contact their family members with telecommunication networks in many areas of the Tigray region down. Many people suffer trauma and emotional distress, following months of not knowing if they will be reunited with their spouses and children.

Since the beginning of the Tigray crisis, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) facilitated nearly 22,200 successful phone calls between refugees and their families. However, it registered over 20,000 unsuccessful phone calls in the same period, meaning that thousands of people could not receive news from home.

“Months go by without any news from family members for far too many people,” said Maria Carolina Aissa, the head of the ICRC sub-delegation in Kassala. “It is heartbreaking to see how people struggle to maintain dignity and hope in these circumstances.”

About ICRC’s work for refugees in Sudan:

• The ICRC supports the Sudan Red Crescent Society (SRCS) in Gedaref and Kassala to help refugees maintain contact with their families. The SRCS works in Um Rakouba and Tunaydba Ethiopian refugee camps, in Shargrab camp for Ertirean refugees, as well as in two transit sites, where the SRCS and the ICRC trained 38 host community and refugee community volunteers.

• The ICRC collected 228 tracing requests for family members inside the camps and received 20 cases from abroad through national Red Cross and Red Crescent societies. It resolved 6 cases and registered 58 unaccompanied minors. In total, approximately 60 – 70% of the total Tigrayan refugee population in eastern Sudan has benefitted from phone calls or tracing services.

• The ICRC has been supporting Doka Rural Hospital, rehabilitating infrastructure, providing medical supplies, personal protection equipment and training for the staff. It donated more than four tons of medical supplies to the hospital, that provides services to more than 40,000 members of the host community and to over 18,000 refugees in Um Rakouba camp.

ICRC dramatically increases its budget in Ethiopia and Sudan as needs grow at an alarming rate (27.05.2021)

The new appeal will bring ICRC’s total budget for Ethiopia to 65 million Swiss francs.

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, May 27, 2021 -The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is asking donors for an additional 28 million Swiss francs ($31.3 million) for its operations in Ethiopia and Sudan following violence that has forced tens of thousands of people from their homes, increasing the need for food, clean water and medical care.

The new appeal will bring ICRC’s total budget for Ethiopia to 65 million Swiss francs ($72.7 million) and the total budget for Sudan to 36 million Swiss francs ($40.3 million). It is the ICRC’s largest such appeal in four years.

“We haven’t seen such an increase in the level of violence in this region for many years,” said Patrick Youssef, the ICRC’s head of operations for Africa. “The world’s attention has been mostly on Tigray, but pockets of violence broke out in other parts of Ethiopia as well, while fighting also resurfaced in Darfur, causing more fear, more displacement and preventing people from meeting their vital needs.

“We are facing an unprecedented challenge, responding to several crises that unfold against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic and climate shocks,”Mr Youssef said.

In Ethiopia’s Tigray region, the presence of humanitarian actors increased in cities, but significant gaps remain in hard-to-reach rural areas. Access to food and primary healthcare are major humanitarian concerns. At the same time, humanitarian needs in other violence-affected areas like Oromia continue to grow.

In Sudan’s Darfur region, the flare-up of violence forced tens of thousands to flee their homes. People can’t grow food and access essential services. Meanwhile, the country is dealing with several displacement and refugee crises. Nearly 2 million Sudanese remain internally displaced, while the country is hosting more than a million refugees, including over 60,000 people who recently fled Ethiopia.

“The emergency response alone will not suffice in the situation we are now facing. The level of violence and destruction is such that we must be prepared to deal with the protracted consequences of these crises,” Mr Youssef added. “Respect for civilian life and property, as well as for healthcare facilities and personnel, is the only way to limit the disastrous humanitarian impact of the ongoing violence.”

The ICRC stepped up its response in Ethiopia and Sudan to cover urgent humanitarian needs, providing emergency relief and preparing for long-term interventions. Additional funding will enable it to expand its programs in Tigray, Oromia and other violence-affected areas of Ethiopia, working alongside the Ethiopian Red Cross. Reaching rural areas of Tigray, reinforcing health services, and increasing support for victims of sexual violence are among the main priorities.

In Sudan, the ICRC will expand its activities and support the Sudanese Red Crescent to respond to the increasing humanitarian needs in Darfur, Blue Nile and South Kordofan. It will focus on delivering assistance to people affected by violence, reinforcing primary health care and physical rehabilitation services.

ICRC in Ethiopia:

  • Supporting health centers in Zalambesa and Altitenna and hospitals in Shire and Sheraro;
  • Providing almost 200,000 liters of drinking water daily to more than 22,000 displaced people and host communities in Mekele, Axum and Shire;
  • Distributed seeds, tools and fertilizer to more than 35,000 families in Somali, Oromia and Tigray Regions.

ICRC in Sudan:

  • Expanding operations to Kassala state and supporting the Kassala teaching hospital’s emergency room;
  • Helping Ethiopian refugees reestablish contact with families and supporting health centers for around 60,000 Ethiopian refugees in 8 camps;
  • Distributed essential household items to around 90,000 people affected by violence in Darfur.

Ethiopia-Sudan Tensions: Sudan requests UNISFA to kick-out Ethiopian Peacekeepers from Abyei

Since December 2020 the Ethiopian National Defence Force (ENDF), Amhara Paramilitary Group ‘Fano’ and Eritrean Defence Force (EDF) have all been spotted and attacked border points on Sudanese soil. They have gone after border points in and around Al-Fashqa region. The Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) have been reported to retake these and stationed more soldiers there.

Just to prove the levels of insincerity from Addis Ababa towards Khartoum. The Sudanese Authorities even intercepted illegal arms export to the rebel outfit of SPLM-N in Blue Nile State. That is what they have been doing and shows how sinister the Tripartite Alliance in Ethiopia is at this current stage. As well, as doing what they have been doing on the border of Sudan and trying to annex Sudanese land.

Clearly, the Sudanese has taken this seriously and sent their Rapid Support Force (RSF) – Desert Shield Force to the borders .They have sent the ones who has tormented Darfur for ages. These folks are the ones who they trust to stop the Tripartite Alliance on the border. That says a lot about their will to defend their borders.

Now the Sudanese has taken it a further step and escalating it further, which is only natural.

Sudan Foreign Minister Mariam Al-Mahdi stated this yesterday:

““Sudan has requested the United Nations to replace the Ethiopian troops present in the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNIFSA) with peacekeepers from other countries,” Mariam Al-Mahdi added.“It is not conceivable to accept Ethiopian forces deployed in the strategic depth of Sudan while the Ethiopian troops are massing on the eastern borders of Sudan,” she said. The minister said that Sudan is now reviewing its relations and cooperation agreements with Ethiopia but stressed that this will not affect the Ethiopian residing in Sudan including refugees” (Koang Pal Chang – ‘Sudan wants Ethiopian peacekeepers out of Abyei’ 07.04.2021, Eye Radio).

When Addis Ababa have been as insincere and been as violent on the border. When they have used all the various alliances to go and attack Sudan. It is only natural that the sovereign state of Sudan doesn’t trust Ethiopian soldiers on their soil. When they have attacked them, illegally armed rebels and been dishonest about their skirmishes as well.

The Ethiopian authorities is calling the neighbours their brothers, but they are coming with weapons and soldiers. That is why the Sudanese see it as a danger to have the Ethiopians as Peacekeepers. That says how much the Ethiopians has destroyed their credibility or trust. The distrust now is shattered and the Khartoum administration only see it fit to “kick them” out.

What will also happen with the changes of Peacekeepers means that the Ethiopian state will not get the profits or the foreign currency for the UN services in Abyei. That is the second price of this. Not only are they demoted and sent home. The Ethiopian state will also loose funds by this action. That is the double strike against Addis Ababa.

The Sudanese authorities are in the right here. How can someone who attacks you on the regular and makes reasons for you to deploy the RSF and more SAF brigades on the borders. A trusted ally to create peace in one of their states. That doesn’t make sense and is a sensible reason to kick Ethiopia out. Peace.

Ethiopia-Sudan Tensions: The tormentors of Darfur sent to the border region

Since 13th December 2020 the Ethiopian and Sudanese troops have had skirmishes at the border-regions. The Ethiopian army and Amhara Para-Military Group ‘Fano’ have attacked Sudanese territory. This have been amplified and the state are hardening its stances.

Now, the Sudanese are even amping up more. After they have said to retaken border points and their claimed Al-Fashaqa region. This is further extending the warfare from the Law Enforcement Operation in the neighbouring Tigray Region inside Ethiopia. The Ethiopian National Defence Force (ENDF) is stretching their battle-lines and also their manpower in their newest quest.

However, to go against the Sudanese is a risky game. As they will now meet a conning and warlord of Darfur. The Sudanese isn’t just sending new recruits to the borders. No, they are now sending the Janjaweed aka Rapid Support Force (RSF). The state militia co-ordinated and controlled by the Vice President of Sovereign Council Lt. Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo “Hemiti”.

Hemiti isn’t just anyone. His a ruthless warlord and a someone who has no issues with sending his enemies to their demise. Now, that the RSF is sending its ‘Desert Shield Force’ to the Eastern Borders towards Ethiopia. Expect horrific reports and striking images from the region. The Janjaweed have been a click of murderous mercenaries. These will use all means to settle the score and they will not come with mercy.

This is why the usage of RSF into this operation. Shows that the Sudanese is amplifying their operation in the border region to Ethiopia. There will be more conflict and they will use guerrilla tactics to conquer the Ethiopians from entering.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali should be concerned about this. His ‘Fano and ENDF haven’t met the capabilities of RSF yet. The RSF is another breed than what his used too. The Janjaweed have gone after their own and been a violent force for decades. The ENDF will clearly meet their end here.

That Hemiti and the Al-Burhan is calling them in. Shows their resolute act to defend its border. They are taking it further now. After Ethiopia have breached their borders for months. This is really signalling to the world. That the tension is spiralling out and a full out war between the neighbours.

Its not just a few skirmishes or small brigades going to far on a whim, but deliberate warfare. This is worrying. What is striking that Abiy is willing to have so many conflicts going at one time and not worried about the strain it causes to his troops. He clearly have the idea that his able to overcome any challenge. If not his “Yes-Men” is telling lies to keep his moral high.

This conflict in Sudan is a fools mission. It is now a bloodbath in the waiting. The Janjaweed have been deadly force for years in Darfur. To bring them here is only a sign of future death. There is nothing good coming out of this.

Abiy will indirectly challenge Hemiti, but I don’t think he knows what is coming his way. He should study the Darfur conflict. However, don’t expect him to do so. Because, he will only order the demise of his men on the front. Peace.

Al-Bashir: The Legends of the Secret Skulls

There is revelations now of 28 deceased army officers found in Omdurman from a foiled coup in 1990. This is evidence of extra judicial killings done by the state under President Omar Al-Bashir. A man who ruled with an iron-fist since 30th June 1989 until 11th April 2019. That is 30 years in power and he used military means to stay there.

It is not shocking that its extra judicial killings done during the Al-Bashir regime. He has the secret police against his enemies. Used militias like Janjaweed and Rapid Support Force (RSF) to kill three tribes in Darfur for years. Also other usage of the military to control the state.

From the years of government militia attacks in Darfur, Blue Nile State and South Kordofan. Where there been genocidal missions with estimated murder between 300,000 to 400,000 citizens. Also, up to 3 million internally displaced persons.

Who knows how many people have died during custody or was arbitrary arrested during the reign of Al-Bashir. There are surely plenty more unanswered cases during the 30 years of power. The President who used all means to stay in power. A man who was bloodthirsty, who used paramilitary groups and intelligence organizations to undermine the public.

Therefore, a mere 28 decomposing bodies of former army officials, who allegedly conspired to overthrow Al-Bashir in 1990. There might be plenty of more hidden skulls from the time that is unaccounted for and from events hidden from the public. We can only imagine what else is 6 feet under.

President Al-Bashir is not only wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for genocide in Darfur. He is also charged with grand corruption and other charges. Now, only a prosecutor is charging him for the murder of these 28 former army officials.

A President who has killed for living. 28 army officials is nothing. For the families of the deceased its a matter of justice for them. However, all the ills and crimes against humanity during his day. We can just wonder if there are more secret skulls.

It is like a horrific movie, the Legends of Secret Skulls. Surely, the President knows what he has done and doesn’t want to accountability for his actions. Some of the acts have been revealed, but there is more to come.

However, we also know that plenty of his comrades are still in-charge and running vital parts the Sovereign Council in Sudan. They are not willing to trade it all, they will be implicated too. These people are not asking for that and will not be charged themselves.

That’s why there is likely more skulls we don’t know about, but was ordered dead during the reign of Al-Bashir. With time these stories will be revealed and it will be more than 28 bodies unaccounted for. Peace.

Sudan: The Sovereign Council serves Al-Bashir to the ICC

The Sovereign Council, the transitional government in Sudan has finally done the big act of sending their former head of state for 30 years and former dictator, Omar Al-Bashir to answer his charges at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague.

Now his final reckoning. Even after being charged with grand corruption in December 2019. This after being overthrown on the 11th April 2019. That after months of demonstrations and continued protests, a revolution where the public had the slogan “We’re All Darfur”. Meaning they are all victims of the atrocities and genocide in Darfuf, which Al-Bashir and his henchman did on his orders. All those years of violence, killings and looting. The President had his end.

Now, 9 months since his fall from power. His been charged and detained. The Sovereign Council partly with military cadres of Al-Bashir and technocrats from the Forces of the Freedom and Change Declaration (FFC) are now ending his “quarantine” and limbo. They are sending their former master to the lions. The ones whose collected evidence and charged him. The ones who has hunted for him and wanted him for years. They have even condemned other nations for hosting the President and Head of State. As they violated the charges and the ICC arrest warrant on him.

Now, nine months after they are doing this. Surely to get some goodwill. You can beg to question: Why now? Are the banks empty again? Are the Sovereign Council running out of fiscal cash and needs some foreign exchange to run government?

Because, giving away and sending him to the ICC. Would give international goodwill. Would be a leap of progression. That would be deemed as a positive step in respecting international law, but also co-operate with an entity respected across the globe. However, it adds questions, which is unresolved.

It also begs the ICC, will they indict and give arrest warrants for people connected with Al-Bashir in the Sovereign Council or the Janjaweed (Rapid Support Force)? Because that would make sense. That the other men who followed orders and on their watch did the atrocities in Darfur and Blue Nile State would answer for it. Not only the Head of State alone in the Hague.

Al-Bashir was a tyrant and a grand dictator. However, he didn’t do this acts a vacuum and alone. He did it with the people around him. That was done deliberate by him and his security organizations. If that was NISS, RSF or anyone else. They did that to enemies, activists or anyone else who dared the regime.

Therefore, his day of reckoning is here now. The Sudanese is sending him to the lions. The big-man, the former leader of men, will be court-side and answering for his actions. He will be humiliated further and even beg for mercy. Only if the ICC does technical glitches or doesn’t follow protocol he will win. Also, only the Sudanese doesn’t comply and intimidate victims and witnesses. Than Al-Bashir will get of the hook.

Nevertheless, it is a historic day. That the man ruling with an iron fist and with a trigger happy army , his now awaiting a new trial, a new court and answer for his misgivings. Which is about time. Who wonders what will happen with the charges in Sudan itself. If they will be followed and actually followed through.

What we do know, is that one man is down and his lost it all. The Sovereign Council has lifted one of their burdens. Maybe there is a pay-off, but that is just mere speculation for now. Peace.

Security Council Press Statement on United Nations – African Union Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) (21.05.2019)

The members of the Security Council stressed that attacks against United Nations premises and personnel are reprehensible and unacceptable.

NEW YORK, United States of America, May 21, 2019 – The members of the Security Council strongly condemned the looting of the West Darfur Headquarters of the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) in El Geneina on 14 May 2019. During the forceful intrusion into the UNAMID camp, UN property        and contingent-owned-equipment were looted, premises vandalised and the lives of UN staff and personnel put at grave risk.

The members of the Security Council stressed that attacks against United Nations premises and personnel are reprehensible and unacceptable.

The members of the Security Council called upon the Sudanese authorities to take immediate steps to ensure the safety of all UNAMD sites in Darfur, to swiftly investigate these incidents, and to bring all perpetrators of these acts to justice.

The members of the Security Council called upon the Sudanese authorities to facilitate the responsible handover of UNAMID sites.

The members of the Security Council reiterated their full support to the UNAMID Joint Special Representative and to UNAMID and the full implementation of its mandate.

The Sudan – Impact of Early Warning Early Action (20.05.2019)

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is developing innovative early warning systems to anticipate risks and intervene at the right time.

ROME, Italy, May 20, 2019 –  Climate-driven hazards are increasing in intensity and frequency, with weather‑related crises now occurring nearly five times as often as 40 years ago. At the same time, needs are expanding and resources are limited. New tools and ways of thinking and acting are essential to reduce the impact of these disasters as effectively as possible.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is developing innovative early warning systems to anticipate risks and intervene at the right time. The right time is often early – before a crisis becomes a humanitarian disaster. FAO’s approach is shifting from a reactive mind-set to one focused on mitigation and prevention.

When the state of Kassala in eastern Sudan experienced a dry spell in 2017 and 2018, FAO took steps early to protect the livelihoods of vulnerable agropastoralists. This study analyses the outcomes of FAO’s Early Warning Early Action (EWEA) approach in the Sudan. They complement and reinforce earlier findings in EthiopiaKenya, and Somalia which demonstrated that early actions have a significant return on investment and are an effective way to address drought in Africa’s agropastoralist regions.

Joint Statement on UNAMID and the Darfur Peace Process by the African Union Commissioner for Peace and Security and the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations (17.05.2019)

Addis Ababa, New York, 17 May 2019: The African Union Commissioner for Peace and Security Smaїl Chergui and the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix express their strong condemnation of the attack and looting of United Nations African Union Hybrid Operation In Darfur (UNAMID) in El Geneina on 14 May. They are extremely concerned by such unprovoked attacks on UNAMID, which has diligently and resolutely provided security to the people of Darfur since 2007.

Commissioner Chergui and USG Lacroix wish to underline that UNAMID’s withdrawal process from Darfur will continue as per the decisions of the African Union Peace and Security Council and the United Nations Security Council. They join UNAMID in reminding the Government of Sudan and the local population of their continued obligation to safeguard UNAMID personnel and assets in accordance with the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA).

Commissioner Chergui and USG Lacroix remain committed to the full implementation of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD) and call on all peace partners to the DDPD to also sustain that commitment.

Sudan: UN expert condemns excessive use of force at protest (17.05.2019)