Human Security in Darfur Enters Free-Fall

UNAMID continues to prove powerless in the face of growing violence, with humanitarian access and capacity at greatly increased risk

Eric Reeves, 20 March 2013

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The relentless stream of news from Darfur makes clear that what is occurring is not an “uptick” in violence, as some would have it, but a massive increase in the threats to human security, including to the humanitarian personnel who continue to sustain the lives of so many Darfuris displaced into camps or living tenuously in rural areas. Nearly all these personnel are now Sudanese nationals, many highly skilled and deeply dedicated; but there is a clear lack of medical physicians, water and sanitation specialists, and those with expertise in the logistics of what is still a staggeringly large humanitarian operation.

And yet after ten years without an end to the violence, “donor fatigue” has set in at the very moment in which humanitarian needs are peaking. Oxfam declared on the tenth anniversary of the outbreak of violence in the region that “sources of funding—from individual supporters to major foundations—have turned their attention elsewhere. Our Sudan programs are in jeopardy at a time when the humanitarian needs are once again on the rise.” Unmentioned here, for fear of creating a pretext for their expulsion, is the fact of Khartoum’s continuing, deliberate, and systematic obstruction of humanitarian relief efforts—and the tremendous cumulative toll this has taken on these efforts over many years.

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