Darfur Women Action Group (DWAG) deeply appreciates humanitarian agencies providing health, education, water, and environmental sanitation services, and food for the over 60,000 refugees returning to Sudan’s Blue Nile. However, DWAG still remains concerned about the deteriorating humanitarian conditions in the area.

This current humanitarian crisis comes after ethnic attacks erupting in mid-July due to an agricultural dispute, with a Brita member allegedly denying a Hausa request to establish a “civil authority to supervise access to land’’. However, according to a Brita member, the denial was in response to the Hausa’s “violation” of its lands. The violence has led to over 65 deaths and over 150 people receiving injuries. Fierce attacks also took place in October, in which 200 people died and thousands were displaced.

After thousands of returning refugees complained about the deteriorating conditions in Wad El Mahi, the acting leader or wali, Gen Ahmed El Omda, appealed to UN agencies and international aid organizations to respond to the current emergency situation. In addition, he emphasized the importance of coordination between UN agencies and Sudanese institutions and called for their participation in the maintenance of dams in the region. Work is currently underway to provide water, health, and educational services for the displaced.

While all eyes are currently on the political negotiations in Khartoum, the international community must equally pay attention to the suffering and strive to meet its obligation to support people in need of humanitarian assistance and end ethnic violence. Accordingly, DWAG calls on the international community to take strong accountability measures and pressure Sudan to stop the ongoing violence. We call on the international community, the United States, and the UN Security Council to take the following measures:

The global community cannot turn a blind eye to the plight of innocent men, women, and children suffering from ethnic violence and poorly humanitarian conditions. We must speak up and demand sufficient humanitarian assistance for all in need, as well as accountability for those guilty of violence in the Blue Nile, Darfur, and Sudan. Only by working together can we make a difference.