- In April, over 56,000 people were displaced due to inter-communal conflict in West Darfur, South Darfur and South Kordofan states (IOM).
- In Kassala State, up to 400 people were displaced following a dispute over land ownership in Reifi Kassala locality.
- Over 3,000 Sudanese refugees have returned to Blue Nile State from Ethiopia’s Benishangul-Gumuz region.
- Former UNAMID Logistics Base in El Fasher, North Darfur looted.
- Conflict, economic crisis, and poor harvests are affecting people’s access to food and 18 million people may face acute hunger by September (FAO, WFP).
Thousands displaced due to inter-communal conflict in Darfur, Kordofan and Kassala
In April 2022, over 56,000 people have been displaced due to inter-communal conflict in West Darfur, South Darfur and South Kordofan, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
Armed clashes between Arab nomads and Masalit communities erupted on April 22 in West Darfur’s Kereneik locality, which were triggered by the reported killing of two Arab tribesmen in Kereneik town by unknown people. The Executive Director of Kereneik reported that as of early May, an estimated 98,000 people (19,600 families) have been displaced in 16 gathering sites in Kereneik town, while about 12,500 nomads (2,493 families) have been affected by the conflict. In addition, at least 165 people were killed and 136 people were injured during the clashes. These numbers have yet to be verified. There are also reports of many families in Kereneik hosting IDP families. During the conflict, 16 villages across Kereneik locality were affected, of which six were completely looted and burned, according to the International Organization for Migration Displacement Tracking Matrix (IOM DTM).
The Executive Director of Kereneik locality reported that the majority of those who took refuge in the military camp have returned to their homes leaving behind those whose villages were burned and who now need urgent shelter assistance.
The Federal Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC) sent tents for distribution to the returnees, food, non-food items (NFIs) and provided them with water assistance. Local authorities have asked humanitarian partners to provide more shelter assistance. The priority needs in Kereneik identified during missions carried out on 30 April (NGOs) and 4 May (UN Inter-Agency) include access to safe water, food, shelter and non-food items (S/NFIs), health services, and medicines . During the mission, partners provided initial health, S/NFIs and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) supplies, and repaired three water pumps damaged during the conflict. The Executive Director of Kereneik commended humanitarian efforts to assist the nomadic community as this will reduce tensions between the communities and improve reconciliation efforts.
The fighting in Kereneik spilled over into Ag Geneina with fighting between the two communities reported in various neighborhoods. On 24 April, the local authorities in Ag Geneina have imposed a curfew at Ag Geneina market from 6:00 pm to 6:00 am the next day. Partners report that people from Althawra and Buhaira neighborhoods and IDPs from the Qadima school gathering site have displaced towards the northern part of Ag Geneina town, and people also fled El Jebel Area to gathering sites in Ag Geneina town.
At least 2,900 people (569 families) were displaced from Kabos area in Ar Rashad locality, South Kordofan State following an inter-communal dispute on 9 April between members of the Kawahla and Al-Bedaria tribes against the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM -N) Al-Hilu faction, according to IOM DTM. The IDPs are currently seeking shelter in Albatira village in Abu Jubayhah locality, South Kordofan. IOM field teams report that one person was killed, and many people lost their possessions, cattle and/or livestock. The priority needs of the IDPs are food, emergency shelter, as well as water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services. The IDPs are seeking shelter in gathering sites/open areas (46 per cent); with the host community (41 per cent); and in schools or public buildings (13 per cent).
In Kassala State, inter-communal clashes erupted on 1 April between the Sebderat and Beni Amir tribes in Eid-Siddna village in Reifi Kassala locality, Kassala State, over land ownership leaving one person dead and others injured. Between 200 and 400 people (40 – 80 families) were displaced to Hafara village, while others reportedly crossed the border into Eritrea. Several people were killed, and dozens wounded from all sides, while some houses in affected villages were torched. By April 7, leaders of the Beni Amer, Habab, and Sibarat tribes agreed to end inter-communal clashes.
In addition, border conflict was reported in Kassala State. Military sources told the media on April 6 that there have been clashes between the Sudanese and Ethiopian forces on the border in the fertile agricultural area of Al Fashaga. The military sources reported tensions, occasional clashes and “intrusions” by Ethiopian militias in Al Fashaga. There have been no reports of civilian displacement or other impacts on civilians following the reports of fighting in the area.
Looting of former UNAMID logistics base in El Fasher, North Darfur
The UN security reported that on 4 April night a group of local residents attempted to forcefully enter the former UN-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) Logistics Base in El Fasher, North Darfur with the intent of looting the premises. The government security personnel guarding the premises used teargas and fired gunshots into the air to scare away the perpetrators. In the early morning of April 5, an unruly crowd overwhelmed the security personnel and entered the compound and started looting it, while the security personnel guarding the premises withdrew. To ensure the safety and security around UN premises, additional police personnel onboard three trucks were deployed to the area upon request from UN security. The looting of the former UNAMID Compound continued throughout the day of 5 April. This is the third instance of looting over the past few months as the UNAMID former base in El Fasher was looted earlier once on 24 December 2021 after it was handed over to the Sudanese authorities and the second time on 11 January 2022.
Sudanese refugees continue to return to Blue Nile State
The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) reported that as of mid-May more than 3,000 Sudanese refugees had returned to Blue Nile State from Ethiopia’s Benishangul-Gumuz region. Over time returns were also observed from neighboring countries, including South Sudan and, on a smaller scale, Uganda; processes are in place to verify their presence and identify their locations of return. UNHCR and partners continuously monitor the situation to verify refugee returnees’ arrivals and assess their needs.
Concerns over increasing food insecurity
The spread of dry spells and crop failure in 115 localities in 14 states across Sudan have affected 5.6 million people, while high prices of agricultural inputs affected the harvest, which is down by around 35 per cent compared to the previous year. The Food Security and Livelihoods (FSL) sector estimates that the number of people in need (PiN) for FSL support in 2022 has reached around 15.7 million, which will be confirmed after the finalization of the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) 2022 analysis for Sudan. The Sudan IPC analysis 2022 is ongoing and the final number of food-insecure people for the current and projected periods will be available in June 2022.
The combined effects of conflict, economic crisis, and poor harvests are significantly affecting people’s access to food and will likely double the number of people facing acute hunger in Sudan to more than 18 million people by September 2022, according to a joint statement by FAO and WFP issued on 23 March.
Sudan is expected to face high humanitarian assistance needs through September 2022 due to the macroeconomic crisis and below-average harvest driving high food prices and declining household purchasing power, FEWS NET said in its April 2022 update. The number of households facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and worse outcomes is expected to remain high, particularly among IDP households, refugees, and poor pastoral, agropastoral, and urban households affected by a below-average harvest and low purchasing power. In March and April, staple food prices have continued to increase, attributed primarily to reduced market supplies following the below-average harvest, the extremely high production and transportation costs, the devaluation of the SDG, and the above-average demand for local wheat due to the high cost and shortages of imported wheat and wheat flour. In April 2022, staple food prices increased on average 10-15 per cent compared to March and remained 200-250 per cent higher than the respective prices of 2021 and over four to five times higher than the five-year average, FEWS NET reported.
The war in Ukraine is compounding the existing challenges as it disrupted agricultural production and trade from one of the world’s major food-exporting regions. The war threatens to drive rising food prices still higher and create scarcity, especially for countries like Sudan that depend on wheat and other exports (sunflower oil) from Russia and Ukraine. Since 2016, Russia and Ukraine accounted for more than half of Sudan’s imported wheat, according to the International Food Police Research Institute.
Against this backdrop, FSL partners have provided 3.9 million people in Sudan with food and livelihood assistance from January-March 2022, according to the HRP 2022 Periodic Monitoring Report. This includes 3.2 million people who were reached with food assistance and another 700,000 people with livelihood support. This 3.9 million reached people is equivalent to about 46 per cent of the overall annual target. However, in most of the 66 reached localities (out of the total 189 localities of Sudan) people assisted received only half food rations due to the increased needs and low funding.
The funding of the 2022 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) for Sudan is low. HRP 2022 has so far only received US $ 249.1 million or 12.9 per cent of the total required amount of $ 1.94 billion, with a remaining gap of $ 1.69 billion. The UN and humanitarian partners call on donors to support the Sudanese people and provide expedient funding for humanitarian operations as the economic crisis, inflation, food insecurity and other challenges increase the needs and their gravity, and deprivation.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA’s activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.