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Darfur IDPs complain from severe cold, lack of shelter materials

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Newly displaced persons in Sortoni, North Darfur, following clashes between rebel and government forces in Jebel Marra area, on 10 February 2016 (UNAMID Photo)
December 21, 2016 (NYALA) - Thousands of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in South Darfur state have complained from the severe weather conditions saying there is an acute shortage of blankets and plastic sheets to protect them from the cold.

Deputy coordinator of IDPs and Refugees Association in Darfur Adam Abdalla Idris told Sudan Tribune Wednesday that IDPs, in particular children and women, are facing dire humanitarian conditions due to lack of blankets and sheets.

He said that aid groups had stopped providing shelter materials since two years ago, stressing the IDPs are currently living in the open which causes health problems to children and the elderly.

Idris pointed that the start of the school day at IDPs camps have delayed from 8:30 to 9:30 am in order to protect the children from catching pulmonary infections.

He pointed the children are not well-fed and their bodies couldn’t resist the cold, warning against the use of the basic needs as weapon” to force IDPs to leave the camps.

Idris further called on national and foreign aid groups to provide blankets and sheets to the IDPs, saying their living conditions are much worse than they were before.

He pointed to the miserable conditions inside the camps, saying the government failed to evacuate their villages from those who seized their lands and farms.

The government seeks to dismantle IDPs camps that have been established on areas around the capitals of Darfur’s five states since the eruption of the armed conflict in the region.

South Darfur government has reconstructed a number of villages but failed to convince IDPs to return particularly following the killing of several of them at the hands of armed groups affiliated with the government who claim ownership of the land.

Immediately after the first arrest warrant of the International Criminal Court (ICC) against Sudan’s president Omer al-Bashir in March 2009, Sudan expelled 13 aid groups from Darfur accusing it of collaborating with the war crime courts.

Since then, the activities of foreign aid group in Darfur are strictly controlled and more organizations were evicted through the years.

Sudan refuses to allow new aid groups to work in the region.
UN agencies estimate that over 300,000 people were killed in Darfur conflict since 2003, and over 2.5 million were displaced.

(ST)

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