More than three years into the crisis, Sudan's western region of Darfur is
acknowledged to be a humanitarian and human rights tragedy of the first order: as many as
5,000 people - overwhelmingly civilians - are dying every month. The situation continues to
deteriorate: atrocity crimes are continuing, people are still dying in large numbers of
malnutrition and disease, although humanitarian access has improved. The international
community is failing to protect the civilians of Dafur or curb the role of outside parties
in exacerbating divisions to geopolitical advantage.
The UN Commission of Inquiry on Darfur described the massive scope of atrocities carried
out in the territory on all sides. The situation on the ground shows a number of negative trends, which have been developing
since the last quarter of 2004: deteriorating security, including the targeting of
humanitarian workers; mounting civilian casualties; the ceasefire in shambles; the
negotiation process at a standstill; the rebel movements imploding; a rise in
cross-border raids in Chad; and new armed movements appearing in Darfur and
neighbouring states. Chaos and a culture of impunity are taking root in the region.
The humanitarian situation remains catastrophic, due to the ongoing violence,
layers of aid obstruction, the lack of an overall humanitarian strategic plan, and the
weakened state of displaced Sudanese. Refugees and internally displaced civilians (IDPs),
a disproprotionate number of them women are in terribly weakened states, subject to
sexual abuse and without adequate shelter. The numbers of at-risk civilians continue to increase.
And as need far outstrips the ability of agencies to deliver aid, localised famine is