Healthcare :: Civilians in West Darfur Deprived of Assistance as Attacks Intensify

Increasing attacks in the Jebel Moon region have caused several thousand civilians to flee their homes, but no aid can reach them.

Against the backdrop of a peace agreement that has resulted in mounting confrontations, the situation for people throughout Darfur, Sudan continues to worsen. Acts of violence committed by all armed groups against civilians and aid workers are increasing, and many people have been forced to flee their homes. Intensifying violence is preventing aid from reaching people who are enduring increasing attacks in the Jebel Moon region, north of West Darfur?s capital El Geneina.

Early November, a team from M?decins Sans Fronti?res (MSF) went to Seleah, in the Jebel Moon, to prepare to set up an emergency medical aid program. The teams found a town in a state of siege – on 29th October, 21 villages in the Seleah region, including Haijelihah camp (estimated population 9,934), were attacked and emptied of inhabitants. There is no concrete information today about the whereabouts and the medical situation of these people. The few families who managed to return to Seleah reported that several dozen men, women and children had been killed. As access to the town was impossible, the 51 injured people who were able to reach the Seleah health centre had to wait several days to be transported to the MSF-supported El Geneina hospital, the only surgical facility in the area. Four patients had already died because of the lack of adequate care. Some vehicles transporting the wounded were attacked en route, sometimes more than once. Today, Seleah remains under siege and the MSF team has not been able to return to set up emergency medical operations. Two severely wounded patients are still waiting for referral.

On November 11, the town of Sirba, located just 40 kilometres from El Geneina, was also attacked. Nine people arrived at El Geneina hospital with gunshot wounds. There are reports of other victims, but mounting insecurity prevents any medical assistance from reaching them.

Because of the lack of access to these areas, MSF teams cannot even evaluate the needs, and its medical teams are unable to help those directly affected by the violence.

Humanitarian space is extremely reduced in Darfur today. It is imperative that MSF teams reach the most affected populations. MSF urgently calls on the government of Sudan, and other parties to the conflict to allow independent humanitarian aid workers unfettered access to these populations.

M?decins Sans Fronti?res, has been working in Darfur since 2003. Today, more than 2000 people work for MSF in the region.

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