A furious frenzy of activity seems to have broken out across the aid agency compounds of Darfur over the past few weeks. Not that we weren't stressed and overworked before - it's just reached absolutely ridiculous levels. Updating this site becomes more of a challenge for me every day.
Clashes, banditry and abduction continue to plague not just the African Union, but also the aid agencies. There are so many people fleeing from the new attacks on villages that all we can do is scramble to keep up with registrations and emergency distributions for the new arrivals: people are coming to the camps, particularly the bigger ones clustered around state capitals, in droves.
Families - mostly women and children - have just plopped themselves down underneath some shady trees with their meagre bundle of belongings, usually some sleeping mats and a few old cooking pots. They hang their clothes and blankets in the branches and wander around the camp looking for the rest of their family and their tribe. It's obvious they need services - food, water, medical attention - but when you speak to them all that they ask for is security. "It's good to be here. No we are safe."
What's equally disturbing is the fact that the scenes I am describing are merely those playing out in the camps and the areas that we can reach - and many more camps remain completely cut off from humanitarian aid because they have become too dangerous to use. Every single road leading out of El Geneina, the capital of West Darfur, has now been classified as unsafe.
I'm too exhausted today to write any more than this today - but I am hoping that a cold shower and a slice of lovely local watermelon will give me the energy to face another day in Darfur tomorrow. And write about it - if I can find the time.
Tags: Sudan, Darfur, aid worker, African Union, attack