Nearly 100,000 people have been displaced from Kereneik town in Sudan’s West Darfur state, official data by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) showed on Friday.
The Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan, Khardiata Lo Ndiaye, reiterated the commitment of humanitarian partners to support thousands of people displaced by inter-communal violence in parts of Kereneik and Ag Geneina.
“Humanitarian partners will continue to provide humanitarian assistance and support thousands of people who were displaced by violence and insecurity in parts of West Darfur over the past few weeks,” she stated following her visit to Ag Geneina.
Lo Ndiaye visited a gathering site in Ag Geneina that hosts some of the people who were displaced from Kereneik since April and a group of nomads outside of Ag Geneina town.
She was accompanied by the heads of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) and representatives from the World Food Program (WFP) and the Catholic Relief Services (CRS).
The visiting delegation interacted with people displaced and affected by the conflict, and heard their stories.
The local authorities in Kereneik reported that about 98,000 people have been displaced by the conflict. At least 165 people were killed and 136 injured during the clashes.
Fighting between Arab nomads and Masalit tribes took place from April 22 until 25, following the discovery of two deceased Arab nomads on April 21 near Hashaba village in Kereneik locality.
The violence spilled over to Ag Geneina locality. The security situation improved after the deployment of security forces in Kereneik town, and no fighting has since been reported.
However, official spokesman for the General Coordination of Displaced Persons and Refugees, Adam Rijal, has frequently reported individual violence and killing incidents.
He accused the so-called Janjaweed militias of killing a civilian on Thursday and injuring another in an ambush in Mukjar locality, southwest of Zalingei, the capital of Central Darfur.
UN agencies and humanitarian partners continue to provide thousands of newly displaced people and other affected people in Kereneik and other locations in West Darfur with humanitarian assistance, including food, non-food supplies and access to water, sanitation and health services.
During January-March 2022, humanitarian partners have provided 794,000 of the most vulnerable people in West Darfur with food and other forms of humanitarian assistance. This is equivalent to about 42% of the total population of West Darfur.
Lo Ndiaye reminded all stakeholders of their international legal obligation to protect all civilians and civilian infrastructure, including health facilities, schools and water systems.
The Humanitarian Coordinator further urged all parties to the conflict to allow the free and safe movement of affected people in search of safety and assistance.
She also echoed previous calls for an in-depth and transparent investigation, the results of which should be made public and help to identify the perpetrators of the violence and bring them to justice.