Sudan has authorised two national NGOs to conduct health assessments in East Jebel Marra, an area in Darfur that has been sealed off for humanitarian organisations since 2010.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported in its latest weekly bulletin that the National Initiative Development Organisation (NIDO) and Jebel Marra Charity Organisation (JMCO) are yet to start the assessments, “owing to reported clashes between government forces and the Sudan Liberation Army led by Abdel Wahid in the area”.
OCHA added that the National Intelligence and Security Service and the Military Intelligence did not permit a UN peacekeeping mission to visit a village named Dobo Jadida in East Jebel Marra on 5 October.
Unamid convoy on 30 September
Radio Dabanga, however, received reports from residents in East Jebel Marra that a Unamid convoy entered the area on 30 September, for the first time after an absence of four years. The peacekeepers stayed for three hours and visited Dolma, Sharafa, Tangarara, and Um Meda villages. They took photos of the damage that has been done to the region, both by militias on the ground as by the Sudanese government's bombardments. At the time of their visit, the peacekeepers told the residents that the authorities prevented them from visiting the region.
Meanwhile, OCHA also submitted a request through the Sudanese Humanitarian Aid Commision for a mission in East Jebel Marra, which is still under review by the security services.
Aid agencies have been unable to access an estimated 100,000 people in need of humanitarian aid in East Jebel Marra since 2010, the UN humanitarian office writes in its bulletin. According to NIDO and JMCO, most of the people reside in areas controlled by the Sudan Liberation Army, with the exception of Beli. Beli is reported to host an estimated population of 15,000 people.