Statement attributable to the United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan, Ms. Marta Ruedas, on the killing of six displaced civilians, including two children, in Darfur

By Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)

The Resident he Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan, Ms. Marta Ruedas, condemns the reported shooting and killing of six civilians, including two children, by armed local tribes in Sortony, North Darfur, next to a site for people recently displaced from the mountainous Jebel Marra area of Darfur. Increased hostilities between the Sudan Armed Forces and the Abdul Wahid faction of the Sudan Liberation Army, that started in early 2016, have forced tens of thousands of people to flee their homes to other areas in the Darfur region, including Sortony.

The killing of the displaced people and the injuring of an unconfirmed number of other individuals, including a peacekeeper from the African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), occurred after a reported rise in tensions between displaced people and armed tribesmen over cattle raiding. The injured are being treated at a medical clinic in Sortony.

Emergency relief to tens of thousands of displaced civilians from the Jebel Marra, an area that straddles three Darfur states, is ongoing since February. In Sortony, 33 Sudanese aid workers from five national and international organisations, including the government's Water and Environmental Sanitation department and Anhar Peace for Development Organisation (a national NGO), are providing emergency relief including food, water and sanitation, emergency shelter and household supplies and nutritional supplements to treat those suffering from malnutrition, including children.

The Sortony IDP site is adjacent to the UNAMID team site in the area. UNAMID has been working in Darfur since 2007 and is mandated to protect civilians, and to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance by UN agencies and other aid organisations and the safety and security of humanitarian personnel. The humanitarian community depends on UNAMID to provide convoy escorts for the provision of timely emergency relief to people in need and to protect civilians affected by conflict.