80,000 face starvation in Sudanese refugee camp

Posted Aug 12, 2010 by Christopher Szabo
Residents of one of the main refugee camps in Darfur, Sudan, are facing starvation as food distribution runs out, a result of a ban on 13 NGO by the Sudanese government following an incident in the camp.
A sprawl of tents has cropped up at Zam Zam Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) Camp  in El Fasher  N...
A sprawl of tents has cropped up at Zam Zam Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) Camp, in El Fasher, North Darfur, as tens of thousands have sought protection there following fresh clashes between the Government of Sudan and rebel forces.
UN Photo/Olivier Chassot
Spokesman for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Darfur told the IRIN news agency:
β€œThe last food distribution would have been at the beginning of July. Blanket feeding for children under five was scheduled to start at the beginning of August, and general food distribution this week, but it has all been prevented by lack of access to the settlement.”
There are some 82,000 Internally Displaced People (IDPs) in Kalma camp, although the exact number is unknown. The report said it was difficult to get accurate information partly because journalists have also been banned from the camp.
Riots in the camp on July 25, mainly by supporters of the Sudan Liberation Movement, resulted in six people seeking protection of the joint African Union (AU)-UN Mission in Darfur (UNAMID). However, government officials blamed both the UN and NGOs and banned 13 agencies and demanded UNAMID hand over the six.
On August 9, Abdel Hamid Musa Kasha, governor of South Darfur State accused the camp inhabitants of being a political platform for the SLM and claimed it was a military base. He said the government would close down the camp.
The issue at the moment is whether the NGOs and UNAMID would allow government forces – allegedly partly responsible for the genocide which led to the displacements – to patrol the camp.
Talks between the parties remain deadlocked.