Large-scale displacement continued to be a severe problem. There were an estimated 1,945,000 IDPs in Darfur, 1.5 million displaced South Sudanese, and 68,000 IDPs in the East. In Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan there were 81,000 and 330,000 IDPs, respectively. Approximately 80 percent of the 130,000 people initially displaced in Blue Nile had returned home. There were modest voluntary returns of IDPs in Darfur. An estimated 120,000 persons were displaced from Abyei, mostly into the South.
As of September there were 274,640 registered refugees from Darfur in Chad. There was no complete breakdown of refugee populations from Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan, but there were 85,000 refugees from Sudan in the Maban area of South Sudan, while the total number of refugees from Sudan in South Sudan was 102,900.
While in previous years the UN estimated there were approximately 2.7 million IDPs in Darfur, more recent data from the UNHCR indicated the number of IDPs in Darfur to be 1.945 million. In the first half of the year, the UN reported continued fighting between the government and armed rebels caused the displacement of 70,000 new IDPs.
In West Darfur, humanitarian partners provided assistance to more than 20,000 returnees. In 2011 the UNHCR verified 110,000 returns of IDPs and 30,000 refugees, mostly to areas in West Darfur.
The total number of returnees, including spontaneous returnees, may be much higher and was difficult to verify.
IDPs in Darfur faced major humanitarian needs. Although other international humanitarian NGOs replaced 13 expelled by the government in 2009, the delivery of humanitarian services continued to suffer from logistical and security constraints.
During the year the World Food Program cut food distribution by half in Darfur as it reassessed the number of IDPs requiring assistance and found it was lower than previous estimates. The organization reported no significant increase in malnutrition rates after the reduction in distributions.
Government attempts to resettle IDPs were modest but generally successful. There were no reports of forced resettlement, and a significant number of IDPs resettled spontaneously.
Government restrictions, harassment, and the threat of expulsion resulted in the continued closure of most gender-based violence programming. While gender-based violence programming was mainstreamed into other humanitarian efforts, reporting and reach were severely curtailed (see section 1.g.). Some UN agencies successfully worked with offices of Advisors on Women and Children to the Governor in Darfur to raise awareness on the issue of sexual and gender-based violence.
There were numerous reports of abuses committed by security forces, rebels, and militias against IDPs, including rapes and beatings. Abuse of IDPs by government forces and government backed-militias in the Southern Kordofan conflict were reported.
For example, according to the UN, on June 8, four armed men entered an IDP area outside of the UNMIS perimeter in Kadugli. Witnesses claimed the men abducted three IDPs from the area on suspicion they were SPLM-N supporters.
On June 7, three IDPs who had been assisting UNMIS personnel to load supplies were pulled out of a truck and beaten by SAF personnel. A UNMIS staff member who attempted to intervene was threatened at gunpoint by one of the soldiers.
Outside of IDP camps, insecurity restricted IDP freedom of movement; women and girls who left the towns and camps risked sexual violence. Insecurity within IDP camps was also a problem. Conflicts regarding political representation in the Doha peace processes resulted in deaths and additional displacements during the year. This was exacerbated by the proliferation of arms in the camps. The government provided little assistance or protection to IDPs in Darfur. Most IDP camps had no functioning police force. International observers noted criminal gangs aligned with rebel groups operated openly in several IDP camps and operated back and forth across the border with Chad.
In early June 10 people were killed in an internal conflict in Hassahissa Camp after they were accused of being government agents pretending to be SLA/AW supporters.
Similar politically motivated violence erupted in Hamidiya and Hassahissa IDP camps in West Darfur in February, June, and August. There were multiple cases reported of IDPs being harassed, arrested, and tortured by the NISS. The government harassed IDPs in Darfur who spoke with foreign observers. For example, Ibrahim Jallab Izairg, an IDP activist from Hassahissa Camp, was arrested on May 8 after he met with a foreign diplomat.
In September the government pardoned five sheikhs (tribal leaders) from Kalma IDP Camp who were accused of instigating violence in the camp in July 2010 that led to clashes between pro-Doha and anti-Doha factions within the camp and the deaths of at least 35 people. The sheikhs sought refuge at the UNAMID Community Policing Center in the camp in July 2010; the government sentenced them to death in 2010 but pardoned them in September after they spent more than a year in the center.
Two IDPs who were arrested following a UN Security Council visit to Darfur in October 2010 were released on July 13, following President Bashir’s decree to release all political prisoners.
Between one and 1.5 million IDPs lived in Khartoum State, many of them in shantytowns rather than in the four formal camps. Many South Sudanese IDPs in Sudan have lived in the country for decades, formed families, and found mainly informal employment. At year’s end Sudan and South Sudan had not reached an agreement regarding the status of South Sudanese in Sudan in the post-CPA period. At times government officials made statements supporting the expulsion of South Sudanese and at other times called for their protection.
Displaced South Sudanese in and around Khartoum were subject to arrest, flogging, fines, warrantless searches, and imprisonment in relation to prohibitions against alcohol. The government restricted access to formal IDP camps around Khartoum.
In the East the government continued to restrict humanitarian access. These restrictions significantly limited the ability of humanitarian organizations to provide services to vulnerable groups such as IDPs and refugees. Approximately 50 percent of IDPs and refugees in camps received food rations. According to the UNHCR, there were an estimated 70,000 Eritrean and Ethiopian refugees in eastern camps and another 26,000 in Khartoum.
In Southern Kordofan 73,000 people were displaced in the June and July fighting. In Abyei approximately 110,000 were displaced, with many crossing the border into South Sudan. (See section 1.g. for information about abuse of IDPs in the Abyei, Southern Kordofan, and Blue Nile conflicts.)