GENEVA / SUDAN UPDATE

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14-Jun-2019 00:02:45
The official Sudanese announcement that 61 people have died in anti-Government protests in the capital, Khartoum, this month, is likely an underestimation, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday, amid concerns that the insecurity is hampering humanitarian work in the country’s troubled Darfur region. UNTV CH

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STORY: GENEVA / SUDAN UPDATE
TRT: 2:45
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 14 JUNE 2019, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

SHOTLIST:

1. Exterior shot, Palais des Nations.
2. Wide shot, Room III.
3. Close up, journalist.
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Christian Lindmeier, World Health Organization (WHO):
“The death toll as reported by the Federal Ministry of Health, and I want to underline that it has not been verified by us, between 3 and 11 June is 61 deaths, and at least 859 wounded/injured.”
5. Med shot, journalists.
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Christian Lindmeier, World Health Organization (WHO):
“ ‘859 wounded or injured’ has been verified, but in the 12 main private and public hospitals, so these are the sources we have and just to state again, underreporting is probable.”
7. Wide shot, journalists.
8. SOUNDBITE (English) Christian Lindmeier, World Health Organization (WHO):
“Main injuries include gunshots. There are also reported incidents of rape, although I don’t have any specific figures on that.”
9. Two shot, journalists.
10. SOUNDBITE (English) Christian Lindmeier, World Health Organization (WHO):
“We have reported seven incidents of attacks on healthcare, where five have been confirmed and two are still under verification. We also have five confirmed healthcare works injured but to my knowledge so far, these healthcare facilities continue to operate.”
11. Med shot, journalists.
12. SOUNDBITE (English) Jens Laerke, Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA):
“While this is going on in the capital Khartoum, there is still a humanitarian crisis in the Darfur region which is impacted by what is happening.”
13. Close up, journalist.
14. SOUNDBITE (English) Jens Laerke, Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA):
“We have, with our partner, started to provide support to people affected by flooding in Tawila in north Darfur, it’s the rainy season now in June and July.”
15. Close up, journalist.
16. SOUNDBITE (English) Jens Laerke, Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA):
“There was tribal fighting going on, UNAMID went there to investigate what has happened, and they said yesterday that UNAMID verified that 17 people had been killed, 15 injured, and more than 100 houses burned.”
17. Wide shot, journalists.
18. SOUNDBITE (English) Jens Laerke, Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA):
“Overall, the whole of Sudan and the humanitarian operation there is struggling with lack of funding. We are asking for a total of $1.2 billion to the response across the country. Now halfway through the year, we are just a little more than 22 per cent funded.”
19. Med shot, laptops, journalists typing.
20. Wide shot, camera, room.
21. Med shot, journalists.
22. Wide shot, panel.

STORYLINE:

The official Sudanese announcement that 61 people have died in anti-Government protests in the capital, Khartoum, this month, is likely an underestimation, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday, amid concerns that the insecurity is hampering humanitarian work in the country’s troubled Darfur region.

“The death toll as reported by the Federal Ministry of Health, and I want to underline that it has not been verified by us, between 3 and 11 June is 61 deaths, and at least 859 wounded/injured,” said World Health Organization (WHO) spokesperson Christian Lindmeier.

The WHO announcement follows reports of attacks and rape by security forces and paramilitaries against protesters and others holding a sit-in outside army headquarters in the capital.

These incidents were condemned on Thursday by the United Nations Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Pramila Patten, who noted the alleged involved of the Rapid Support Forces and militias.

In a briefing to journalists in Geneva today (14 Jun) Lindmeier explained that as official victim numbers were sourced from Khartoum’s 12 main private and public hospitals – and not the many other clinics where injured protesters could also seek medical help - “underreporting is probable”.

Gunshot wounds were among the main injuries and “there are also reported incidents of rape, although I don’t have any specific figures on that”, he added.

The UN health agency has also reported seven attacks on healthcare centres in Khartoum, of which “five have been confirmed and two are still under verification”, Lindmeier said. “We also have five confirmed healthcare works injured but to my knowledge so far, these healthcare facilities continue to operate.”

Away from the capital, UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) cautioned that humanitarian needs remain at crisis levels in the troubled Darfur region.
A civil war in 2003 led to the deaths of tens if not hundreds of thousands of Darfuris and the displacement of nearly two million people.

In the fighting between Sudanese Government forces and militias and other armed rebel groups, widespread atrocities such as the murder and rape of civilians were committed.
Today, violent communal attacks, destructive flooding, along with a civil disobedience campaign and the disruption of internet services and phone networks have all hampered operations in the vast western region, spokesperson Jens Laerke said.

“While this is going on in the capital Khartoum, there is still a humanitarian crisis in the Darfur region which is impacted by what is happening,” he insisted, noting that on Tuesday, a team from the UN-AU Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID), visited Deleij in central Darfur following reports of intercommunal clashes at the weekend.

“There was tribal fighting going on, UNAMID went there to investigate what has happened, and they said yesterday that UNAMID verified that 17 people had been killed, 15 injured, and more than 100 houses burned,” Laerke explained, following reports that the fighting involved clashes between nomads and residents angered by price increases at the local market.
In northern Darfur, meanwhile, humanitarian partners have provided support to people affected by flooding in Tawilla, which has totally or partially destroyed some 1,300 households and affected hundreds of latrines, an immediate health hazard.

According to the World Food Programme, more than 70 per cent of planned prepositioned food has already been delivered to different states across Sudan. This will enable the UN agency to deliver lifesaving humanitarian aid to some 740,000 people in inaccessible locations during the rainy season, which is under way and usually ends around September.

As number of UN agencies respond to ongoing needs, OCHA’s Jens Laerke funding for Sudan was well below where it needed to be at this mid-year point.

“Overall, the whole of Sudan and the humanitarian operation there is struggling with lack of funding,” he said. “We are asking for a total of $1.2 billion to the response across the country. Now halfway through the year, we are just a little more than 22 per cent funded.”
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