The State of North Darfur is facing a protection crisis on multiple fronts. As of October 2021, North Darfur hosts the second largest number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the region after South Darfur, with 666,217 IDPs across 13 localities. Most IDPs have been displaced and secondarily displaced since the conflict began in 2003, with periods of return followed by new displacement due to regular conflict and violence.
The Government of Sudan does not register IDPs or IDP returnees. Thus, the number of IDP returnees is available only through the self-report of community members to the IOM Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM). The 2021 withdrawal of the United Nations–African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), continued impacts of the 25 October 2021 military coup, and lack of implementation of the 2020 Juba Peace Agreement (JPA) are factors which have contributed to increased risks to civilians across the State, including for IDPs, returnees, refugees and host communities.
The Protection of Civilians is further impacted due to the low capacity of State authorities and the large-scale presence of armed groups. Inter-communal violence, often precipitated by clashes over access to land and natural resources, has led to regular cycles of new displacement. The humanitarian community in North Darfur has been unable to fully respond to the crisis due to the fragile security environment whereby protection monitoring, and inter-sectoral missions cannot be conducted due to a lack of guarantee of physical safety in accessing affected communities, and requirements that UN entities move to the field with police escorts provided by the Government.
As the largest state in the Darfur region, vulnerable persons across North Darfur must travel long distances to reach protection services, which are centered almost entirely on Child Protection (CP) and Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in a handful of localities. Access to legal assistance, including Housing, Land and Property (HLP) services, is extremely limited due to a low understanding of communities on processes required to obtain critical civil documentation, the low capacity of the State Civil Registry and the low presence of formal legal mechanisms.