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UN envoy to Sudan calls to ensure conducive environment for IDPs return

Some IDPs who fled the fighting in Jebel Marra in April 2018 (ST photos)
September 11, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - The newly appointed UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan Gwi-Yeop Son urged the Sudanese authorities to create the needed conditions to ensure the return of displaced civilians to their areas of origin in Darfur and vowed to support these efforts.

The South Korean diplomat who arrived in Sudan last month, visited Central, East and North Darfur from 3 to 10 September to inspect the humanitarian situation and measures taken to improve the humanitarian access in the region where nearly two million IDPs are still living in camps.

Also, she discussed with the local officials, the 2016 Directives and Procedures for Humanitarian Action in Sudan and praised their efforts to ensure its full implementation and to facilitate access to affected civilians.

In a statement issued at the end of the visit in Khartoum, the humanitarian coordinator spoke about her meetings with local officials in Central Jebel Marra locality and her visit to the recently displaced civilians in Golo following the fighting between the government forces and rebel fighters in the only troubled area of Jebel Marra.

According to the statement, the UN envoy tackled the ongoing efforts to facilitate the voluntary return of IDPs and refugees as it is seen as the major challenges facing the Sudanese and international community after the end of clashes between the government and rebels in almost the whole region.

"She underscored the need to mobilise collective efforts by both the government and the international community to ensure their voluntary, safe, dignified and non-discriminatory return, resettlement and reintegration," said the statement.

"Ms Son called on the authorities to create conducive conditions for durable solutions, including security and stability, people’s access to basic services and land, and gave her assurance of the United Nations readiness to support," further stressed the release.

Different sources including the UNAMID, say they face difficulties to reach civilians in some area of Jebel Marra pointing that the government forces are still hunting the remaining fighters of the Sudan Liberation Movement-Abdel Wahid Who refuse to cease hostilities or to join the peace process.

Also, talks with the other holdout rebel groups are stalled over the creation of a new implementation body they rebel demand to be included in a peace deal to be negotiated on the basis of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur.

Son said female-headed households, disabled, youth and the children should be prioritized in the humanitarian efforts conducted in the region to enable them to cross the poverty line.

Also, she pointed to the need for "multi-year and unearmarked resources to ensure the humanitarian community can respond rapidly while development actions lay a strong foundation in capacity strengthening and long-term livelihoods of the most vulnerable".

The United Nations Sudan Humanitarian Fund is currently allocating $13 million to support life-saving activities.