Saturday, November 20, 2010

Khartoum Under Fire Over IDP Camp Conditions

The Sudanese government is hampering international efforts to address chronic levels of malnutrition in camps for displaced people in Darfur, according to the country head of the United Nations children’s agency UNICEF.

Nils Kastberg told the justice programme of Dutch-based broadcaster Radio Dabanga, an IWPR co-production, that Khartoum was blocking access to camps as well as delaying the release of vital nutrition surveys required by agencies such as UNICEF and the World Food Programme, WFP, to supply food aid to the region.

“We are extremely concerned,” Kastberg said. “When we conduct surveys to help us address issues, in collaboration with the ministry of health, very often other parts of the government such as the humanitarian affairs commission interferes and delays in the release of reports, making it difficult for us to respond in a timely way.”

Kastberg claimed that the country’s security services also hinder or delay access to the camps.

The grim situation has prompted further warnings from the International Criminal Court, ICC, of a continued campaign of genocide against internally displaced people, IDPs, in Darfur. Since 2003, the war-torn region has seen more than 2.5 million people pushed into these camps.

“The government is using hunger, rape and fear to attack these IDPs in their camps in Darfur,” Islam Shalabi, from the ICC’s office of the prosecutor, OTP, said. “This is another tool of war used by the government of Sudan.”

Prosecutors allege that Khartoum has conducted genocide by employing the national armed forces and allied Janjaweed militia to deliberately bring about the physical destruction of Darfur’s Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa ethnic groups.

The ICC has issued arrest war crimes warrants for three members of the Sudanese regime, President Omar al-Bashir, former humanitarian affairs minister Ahmed Haroun and Janjaweed militia leader Ali Abdul Rahman.. Bashir has been charged with genocide. Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

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