8 June 2011 - A representative of the Southern Kordofan government said today that civilians displaced by ongoing conflict in the state are the government's responsibility.
Speaking to internally displaced persons (IDPs) based at a temporary settlement near the UNMIS compound in Kadugli, State Minister for Culture and Information Hamis Hammadallah said the government was grateful to UNMIS and other UN agencies for assistance they had extended to IDPs and that the state would also play a proactive role in ensuring their protection and safety.
"The government will also coordinate with UNMIS and agencies in providing humanitarian assistance," he said.
Before addressing the IDPs, Mr. Hammadallah held a meeting with UNMIS Kadugli Head of Office Mark Rutgers and promised on behalf of the government to provide a drilling rig for easier access to water, which is currently a major challenge for IDPs.
The outbreak of fighting in Kadugli and some rural villages in Southern Kordofan State has led to the displacement of an estimated 7,000 civilians, who have sought refuge near the UNMIS base in Kadugli, according to the office of the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan.
In a statement issued today, UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan George Charpentier also reiterated the responsibility of national authorities to protect civilians.
Mr. Charpentier, who is expected to visit the state on 9 June, urged all parties to allow humanitarian organizations to assess the situation and provide necessary emergency relief to the affected population.
"Emergency relief stocks pre-positioned in Kadugli, in particular food and shelter materials, have been secured and transferred to the UNMIS base for distribution to civilians concentrated near the camp," he said.
He expressed concern about the impact of the deteriorating security situation on civilians in Southern Kordofan.
Reports indicate that civilians of some outlying villages to the east of Kadugli, such as Talodi and Um Durein, have fled to neighbouring mountainous areas.
"Humanitarian organizations present on the ground, with the support of UNMIS and state authorities, are trying to ascertain the exact number of affected population in Kadugli and elsewhere in the state, although ongoing fighting is hindering their ability to move freely," Mr. Charpentier said.