Oxfam today expressed deep concern about recent events that could exacerbate Western Sahara tensions and put the region on the brink of armed conflict. These developments include the expulsion from Western Sahara of 73 civilian peacekeepers. Parties must work to resolve 40-year-old conflict.
While engaging with communities has been a priority for peace operations since 2010, there is a gap between rhetoric and implementation. A number of non-governmental organizations that work on protection of civilians provide recommendations on how to operationalize community engagement in a joint briefing note.
A new wave of violence in Darfur has forced more than 50,000 people to flee their homes since the start of the year. Thousands of families are facing limited access to food, adequate water supply and shelter. Oxfam has launched an immediate response, aiming to reach more than 20,000 people with clean water, emergency latrines and hygiene supplies.
Commenting on the decision for the UN to send more troops to South Sudan, John Watt, Oxfam’s Deputy Regional Director for East Africa, currently in South Sudan said:
Renewed military action against the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) risks triggering further devastation for local people in DR of Congo, Central African Republic, and South Sudan unless more is done to protect civilians and prevent retaliations by one of Africa’s most brutal rebel groups.
Communities in isolated areas of Province Orientale, in DR Congo, are particularly vulnerable to attacks by the Lord’s Resistance Army.
Each year Oxfam undertakes a far-reaching survey of unheard, conflict-affected people in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
Oxfam’s aim is that “all women and men in humanitarian crises will be assured both the protection and the assistance they require, regardless of who they are or how they are affected, in a