lisa monaghan

IDMC (2010). Durable Solutions Elusive

Durable solutions elusive as southern IDPs return and Darfur remains tense At the end of 2010 at least 4.5 million people were internally displaced in Darfur, the Greater Khartoum area, South Kordofan and the ten states of Southern Sudan. It is thought that in December 2010 there were between 4.5 and 5.2 million IDPs, in the western region of Darfur (where estimates ranged between 1.9 million and 2.7 million), in and around Khartoum, in the state of South Kordofan and in Southern Sudan. In addition, there were unknown numbers of IDPs in the other northern and eastern states.

In Darfur, large-scale attacks on civilians have become less common but insecurity prevails in most areas. Over 100,000 of almost 270,000 people newly displaced in Darfur in 2010 were displaced in eastern Jebel Marra, where sporadic fighting between government and rebel forces has continued since February 2010. Meanwhile, Darfur witnessed the continued failure of peace talks, further fracturing of anti-government forces, greater restrictions on humanitarian access, and violence in IDP camps such as Kalma camp. IDP camps in Darfur are becoming permanent urban settlements, with populations dependent on assistance. An inter-agency rapid assessment in October 2010 found that displaced communities had critical needs in health care, nutrition, water and sanitation, and child protection. In Southern Sudan over 220,000 people are estimated to have been newly displaced in 2010, a
considerable decrease from the 390,000 reported in 2009. Good rains have led to a reduction in cattle raiding and disputes over access to water and grazing; however violent incidents between southern communities have increased. In the build-up to the January self-determination referendum in Southern Sudan, there are fears that incidents along the border and in undemarcated areas could lead to significant further displacements in early 2011.

The Greater Khartoum area continues to host some 1.7 million IDPs from areas in or bordering the south. In August 2010, the autonomous Government of Southern Sudan (GoSS) announced a new initiative to facilitate the rapid return to the south of up to 1.5 million southern Sudanese currently living in the north and in Egypt. From October to early December 2010 over 50,000 people were believed to have returned as a result, and further returns were expected. As a result of international concerns about the feasibility and voluntariness of return and the lack of funds to receive returnees, the GoSS has taken a longer-term perspective, no longer linking mass return of IDPs to the referendum. The returns have been either supported by administrations of states such as Unity State, or have been spontaneous. Those IDPs who have returned in recent months often find receiving
communities and local authorities unprepared and lacking resources to support their initial reestablishmentNand reintegration. Many have arrived with limited resources after long journeys and have struggled on arrival in war-ravaged regions in which some 80 per cent of people have been
displaced at least once over the previous 15 years. Nonetheless, while living in Khartoum they have acquired skills that they hope to use in the south.

The Government in Khartoum launched a new strategy for Darfur in 2010. Focused solely on return, it does not recognise the right of IDPs to choose where they want to settle. The National IDP Policy adopted by GoNU in 2009 remains largely unimplemented. The focus on return in the
new strategy for Darfur and the return plan of the GoSS indicate that both the national anD southern governments lack commitment to giving IDPs a genuine choice between different settlement options through which to pursue a durable solution to their displacement.

In July 2010, the protection cluster was established in Southern Sudan and stakeholders have demonstrated commitment to address displacement issues.

Category: International Assistance and Interventions

Sub-category: Displacement and Protection of Civilian Sites


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