Thursday, 7 June 2007

'Forgotten and marginalized' - Displaced persons in Khartoum

This February 2006 report - 'Forgotten and marginalized' - Displaced persons in Khartoum: One year after the peace agreement' was written by Rik Delhaas for ICCO.

Sudan has experienced the worst population displacement in the world: six million internally displaced persons (IDPs) out of a total population of 37 million people. Two million of the internally displaced persons live in official IDP camps, squatter areas or relocation sites in and outside the capital Khartoum, in northern Sudan. This report explores the situation of these two million IDPs, one year after the government of Sudan and the southern rebel movement SPLM/A signed a Comprehensive Peace Agreement.

The report is based on previous research and some interviews. It is not set up as a research report, in the sense that it does not include a research question or clear information about the methodology used. The last part is more like a pamphlet, urging the Sudanese authorities and international donor community to take certain actions. ICCO has used it for its lobbying efforts. The report provides some interesting figures and illustrations, among others a map of IDP camps in Khartoum State.

The findings in this research suggest that the administration of Khartoum State has not just economic motives for demolishing and relocating the IDP-camps. It also uses relocations as a method of discouraging people from legitimately settling themselves in Khartoum. The government of South-Sudan, in turn, lacks sufficient influence in northern policies and thus cannot interfere. It furthermore has electoral interests in having the southern IDPs returned to their places of origin in the South. Apparently, none of the authorities care for the welfare of IDPs living in and around Khartoum.

As a result of continuing demolitions and relocations to sites far outside Khartoum the situation of these IDPs has deteriorated. In all the camps, sufficient basic services such as health-clinics, water-facilities, latrines and job opportunities are lacking. Many IDPs have lost their jobs, because they cannot afford transport costs to Khartoum. Child malnutrition and mortality are high among the IDPs. Additionally, IDPs are prevented from organizing themselves and from collectively demanding improvement of their situation. In short, circumstances in the camps around Khartoum are dire. Even the IDPs in Darfur are better off, according to Special Representative of Secretary-General Jan Pronk.

Read the report.

The synopsis was prepared by Justine Anschütz to help make ICCO sponsored 'research' more accessible

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