22 June 2011 – UNMIS called on the Southern Kordofan government today to ensure the protection of civilians, including internally displaced persons (IDPs) who returned to their homes on Monday.
"Most IDPs have returned from the UNMIS perimeter site to their homes," said Georg Charpentier, UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan, after a visit to the embattled state. "We call again on the responsibility of the state and security authorities to ensure protection of civilians during these tense times."
Mr. Charpentier, who also serves as Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary General in Sudan, was visiting the state following recent events that saw IDPs in different locations around Kadugli return to their homes with the government's encouragement.
"State authorities have pledged the necessary access so that humanitarians can engage in supporting them as intensively as they did when they were displaced," he said.
Mr. Charpentier welcomed the fact that airspace had been reopened to some extent, saying that this had enabled the mission to deliver supplies to UNMIS sites in Kauda, Talodi and Julud and to rotate a number of national staff from Kadugli to Wau and Khartoum.
Although reports of small clashes and aerial bombardments continued in some parts of the state, the situation in Kadugli town is generally reported to be calm.
"I was able to take a limited tour of Kadugli this morning and it looks more secure than it did when I was last here, two weeks ago," Mr. Charpentier said. "Having said that, we know that the situation hasn't stabilized, especially in areas outside of Kadugli, and continue to call on the parties to completely cease hostilities."
IDPs are reported to be returning from other areas outside of Kadugli where they had moved to, including El Obeid in North Kordofan State.
In the protection perimeter next to the UNMIS headquarters, the only remaining persons were 133 Southern Sudanese returnees who were caught up in the fighting, as they tried to make their way to the south ahead of the region's independence on 9 July.
The humanitarian agency coordination team, led by the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and International Organization for Migration (IOM), has organized transport for returnees out of Kadugli tomorrow by bus to El Obeid, where the last leg of their journey to the south will be arranged.
Fighting began between the Sudan Armed Forces and Sudan People's Liberation Army on 6 June in Kadugli, and spread to other localities in Southern Kordofan state. More than 70,000 people are reported to have been displaced by the conflict.