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.

Press Release: Sharp rise in suspected cholera cases in South Sudan (21.07.2016)

South Kordofan Sudan

The Juba Teaching Hospital reported that 69 new suspected cases were admitted on Wednesday, bringing the total number of people being treated in the capital to 112.

JUBA, South Sudan, July 21, 2016 – Amid a rise in the number of suspected cases of cholera in South Sudan, UNICEF is rapidly increasing its response activities.

The Juba Teaching Hospital reported that 69 new suspected cases were admitted on Wednesday, bringing the total number of people being treated in the capital to 112. An additional 29 suspected cases had been reported in Duk Island in Jonglei state. Nationwide, there are now 141 suspected cholera cases with six reported deaths.

In collaboration with the Ministry of Health and partner agencies, UNICEF is providing medical supplies, sanitation services and community awareness.

“A fast and coordinated response is key to preventing a cholera outbreak,” said Mahimbo Mdoe, UNICEF’s Representative in South Sudan. “That’s underway, despite the fact that life in Juba was completely brought to a standstill for days by the recent violence and many humanitarian organizations have since evacuated staff.”

UNICEF and partners are providing medicines, intravenous drips and other items used to treat the illness. Three triage tents have been erected to serve as additional wards should the number of cases continue to increase. Chlorine has been provided for use in the handwashing stations put in place in the isolation unit. Elsewhere in Juba, five oral rehydration points have been established where people who feel ill can receive rehydration solutions and be referred to a clinic.

Community mobilizers are working to prevent further infections by educating the public on measures they can take to keep themselves safe, such as drinking only safe water and eating cooked food.

At the UN protection of civilians site – where thousands continue to shelter following the fighting that erupted in Juba nearly two weeks ago – daily water supplies continue to be provided, despite initial challenges of access. The water is then treated with chlorine.

Cases of cholera across the country remain unconfirmed due to a critical lack of the laboratory equipment needed to obtain a diagnosis, which humanitarian organizations are working to address.

Letter from Journalists South Sudan ask permission to access the people of the PoC Sites in Juba! (20.07.2016)

South Sudan Letter 20.07.2016

President Salva Kiir insists more AU troops not welcome in Juba (Youtube-Clip)

“South Sudan has reaffirmed its rejection of a proposal by the African Union to send in additional troops to help stabilize the country. In an exclusive interview with CCTV Africa, President Salva Kiir said he had not been consulted on the matter and would not agree to more foreign troops being deployed in his country” (CCTV Africa, 2016).

South Sudan Update: Machar to be Replaced (Youtube-Clip)

“South Sudanese information and broadcasting minister has confirmed on reports that the country’s First Vice President, Riek Machar, could be replaced from his position by another official from his faction in accordance with the provision of the August 2015 peace agreement” (NBS TV Uganda, 2016).

Palais press notes on the health situation in South Sudan (19.07.2016)

South Sudan HRP 2016 Cover Page
South Sudan HRP 2016 Cover Page

Speaker: Fadéla Chaib, WHO Spokesperson
Date: 19 July 2016

In response to the crisis in South Sudan, WHO works with its partners to ensure that the population continues to access basic health services. The situation endured by displaced people, where inadequate access to water and sanitation services have resulted in poor living, hygiene and sanitation conditions resulting in threats of outbreaks.

One of these threats is an upsurge of reported cases of suspected cholera/ acute watery diarrhoea. The suspected cases are from Juba and Duk Counties in Central Equatoria and Jonglei States respectively.

WHO with other partners is currently responding by conducting active case search in the two communities where recent cases reside and had pre-positioned commodities and other supplies including tents, cholera kits that provides treatment for 400 people, cholera preparedness and response materials for health workers, laboratory reagents and Rapid Diagnostic Tests. WHO is expanding disease surveillance and laboratory investigation of suspect cases; providing support for the care and treatment of cases, and strengthening public health education and social mobilization.

The risk of further spread is a major concern. With the coming rains, it is realistic to expect an increase in malaria and water-borne diseases, so we can expect medical needs to rise in an environment where WHO and partners are already working hard to keep up with existing health needs.

An estimated 1.6 million people affected by the ongoing crisis needs help. WHO delivered lifesaving treatments and supplies including: trauma kits, body bags, IV fluids , iodine solutions and trauma kits. In addition, WHO is also shipping to Juba several kits of essential drugs and medical supplies. The supplies are expected to be in Juba early next week.

Under extremely difficult conditions, WHO and partners in South Sudan are also reaching families sheltering in schools, Churches and settlement areas across South Sudan with life-saving health care. Mobile medical teams are dispatched to reach people in many areas hardest hit by the ongoing conflict including Juba, Wau, Bentiu and Torit. Rapid assessments to monitor the health situation of the displaced people are to also be scaled up in Juba and the affected states.

More than a hundred WHO staff members remain in the country.

WHO is deploying an emergency logistician, information management and Public Health Officers to support the WHO and health partners respond to the crisis.

Funding:
WHO requires a total of US$ 17.5 million for 2016 of which US$ 4.3 million has been received. This amount is likely to increase due to the recent conflict.

Fadéla Chaib WHO Spokesperson

Readout of Secretary-General’s meeting with H. E. Yoweri Kabuta Museveni, President of Uganda (18.07.2016)

Salva Kiir Poster

NEW YORK, United States of America, July 18, 2016The Secretary-General met today with H. E. Yoweri Kabuta Museveni, President of Uganda, on the margins of the African Union Summit in Kigali. The Secretary-General and the President exchanged in-depth on the situation in South Sudan.

The Secretary-General and the President expressed grave concern about the situation in South Sudan, and exchanged views on practical measures that could be taken to address it. In this respect, the Secretary-General recalled his briefing to the Security Council on 13 July in which he proposed the imposition of an arms embargo, targeted sanctions against violators of human rights and international humanitarian law and the strengthening of UNMISS, in order to protect civilians.

The Secretary-General also referred to the demilitarization of Juba as a way of sustainably restoring security in the capital and facilitating the functioning of the Transitional Government of National Unity and the implementation of the agreement on the resolution of the conflict in South Sudan. President Museveni stressed the need to strengthen national ownership to ensure that any gain made towards peace and security is irreversible.

The Secretary-General commended the IGAD leaders for their untiring engagement in South Sudan, and said he was looking forward to the personal leadership of President Museveni and that of the other Heads of State and Government of the region. He also acknowledged Uganda’s contribution to AMISOM and the sacrifices made in this respect.

The Secretary-General and the President discussed the follow-up to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, which Uganda is planning to ratify soon.

Readout of the Secretary-General’s meeting with H.E. Mr. Alpha Oumar Konare, African Union High Representative for South Sudan, and H.E. Mr. Festus Mogae, Chairperson of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (18.07.2016)

South Kordofan Sudan

NEW YORK, United States of America, July 18, 2016The Secretary-General met today with former President Alpha Oumar Konare, African Union High Representative for South Sudan, and former President Festus Mogae, Chairperson of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission.

Former Presidents Konare and Mogae updated the Secretary-General on their efforts, including recent consultations in Juba with South Sudanese leaders. The Secretary-General commended them for their efforts, and encouraged to remain steadfast. He recalled the recommendations he made to the Security Council in favour of an arms embargo, the imposition of targeted sanctions against individuals involved in violence and blocking the implementation of the peace agreement, and the reinforcement of the UN Mission in South Sudan.

Acknowledging the seriousness of the situation and the risk of relapse into conflict and that of further and widespread atrocities against the civilian population, the Secretary-General and the two former Presidents agreed on the urgency of concerted regional and international action to address the current challenges and bring about lasting peace and security in South Sudan. They emphasized in this respect the role of IGAD and of African leaders.

Juba Crisis continues as Editor of South Sudan Tribune get detained for an article

sudantribune.com

There are certainly a crisis in Juba, as the escalated to old-days in the Capital of South Sudan. As the President Salva Kiir and VP Dr. Riek Machar have started to fight each other, as their trust level is beyond the reasonable level. There been dialogue and even negotiations between the old Generals; who has had different subject and loyalties to different tribes. Still the surge for power and generate it all. Is the reason why the President was offended by what the Editor-In-Chief Alfred Taban of South Sudan Tribune wrote on the 16th July 2016, as I have the copy of the article that he wrote and published! That apparently hurt the Executive who have been vigilant against the SPLM-IO Riek Machar and his loyal soldiers, as the Government forces have attacked the Opposition on their bases.

Still the newly fresh cease-fire, while the Government has even detained SPLM-IO MPs who was living in Hotels in Juba into jails after the recent skirmishes and attacks, proves the unstable situation and the little peace. This together with UNMISS staff leaving the capital, International Red Cross, Embassies and other foreign dignitaries, as well as Indian Army and Ugandan Army coming into Juba to clear the town.       

We can expect in this unfree and unstable situation that the free press and liberty seems to also be under fire, but when you acting on the terms of State of Emergency. So that with even government forces go into the UN World Food Program warehouse and looted it. As there been reports over the last year of the lacking levels of food and fleeing from violence. The insecurity together with the now the proof of lacking freedoms, shows that the Troika’s faith in the newly formed Transitional Government of National Unity (TGNU) after the Peace Agreement of 2015, where the new National Assembly and Government should mend the wounds of the newest conflict between the leaders. That proven again when the President cannot handle being questioned by the media and their men with the pencil and thoughts into paper; this should be a worry as the soldiers are fighting and the disarray of society that are for grabs, by men more used to the battlefield then building the state. That should be reminder of the fragile state and the quest to build the newest African Nation, that the South Sudanese people deserves, with leaders who works continuously to achieve progress for the citizens; instead they are fighting for their own plate and not for the people, that should be a warning sign for the international community who supporters the development and continuation of the Kiir Government.

Take a look at the Article that made a fellow human-being detained as he wrote critically about the leadership of South Sudan:

Sudan Tribune Article

PS: Peace.