Our sources on the ground in Darfur—in the regional capitals of Al Fasher and El Geneina and in a number of camps for internally displaced Darfuris—are telling us that the situation is getting worse each day for the people who the Sudanese government has denied lifesaving humanitarian assistance.
Through recent phone conversations with people in ZamZam camp in North Darfur, we learned that the sewage system in the camp has been cut off, and people are now forced to relieve themselves wherever they can in the crowded camp or risk leaving relative safety. Clean water in camps like ZamZam is becoming increasingly scarce, a problem that stands to worsen as the temperatures in the arid Sahelian desert during the “hot season” of April and May spike to over 110 degrees F.
President Bashir’s decision to expel 16 international and Sudanese humanitarian organizations following the issuance of an International Criminal Court arrest warrant against him is having the effect he intended: it is hurting the people of Darfur, and this harm is happening under the radar. In expelling these humanitarian agencies, the Sudanese government has also shut down a crucial source of information and monitoring of the crisis. Today, media coverage and humanitarian information from Darfur can hardly reflect the gravity of the worsening situation.
Maggie Fick contributed to this post.