Humanitarian access in Darfur 'fast falling apart'

Published: Fri 19 Nov 2004 09:49 AM
Achievements on humanitarian access in Darfur 'fast falling apart'
Renewed insecurity stops Oxfam delivering vital aid to 200,000 people
Security in Darfur has deteriorated over the past two weeks leaving nearly 200,000 people in Darfur cut off from vital aid supplies. The last Security Council resolution on Darfur noted improved humanitarian access, but since then the situation has deteriorated and access is worse than it was four months ago, warned international agency Oxfam, on the eve of the UN Security Council's latest resolution on Sudan.
Increased insecurity on roads as vehicles are looted by bandits, enter ambushes or are caught in the cross fire between rival armed groups has meant that in five towns across Darfur, Oxfam can only get aid in by helicopter.
"Without road access, one of our drilling rigs is not able to reach Kebkabiya, where we urgently need to start drilling for water. The dry season is starting to close in on us, and water supplies are becoming scarce for the thousands of people camped in the town.
“Improving humanitarian access had been one of the few claims of success of the Security Council, but the situation on the ground is reversing any gains made. Humanitarian access is worse than it was four months ago when the Security Council passed its first resolution," said Barry Coates, Executive Director of Oxfam New Zealand.
The UN Security Council is preparing to discuss their latest resolution on Sudan. However internal divisions mean that progress may be limited.
"There has been lots of talk over the last year, and commitments from all sides to end abuses, but security in Darfur has not improved. In fact, in the last two months it has started to deteriorate.
“This Nairobi meeting must mark a turning point. Every member of the Security Council must agree to put their words into action to end the violence in Darfur. Until they do so, claims of success will increasingly ring hollow. The lives of hundreds of thousands of people are at stake," said Coates.

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