Nearly 1.4 million people displaced in Sudan since civil war erupted – UN report

Nearly 1.4 million people have now been displaced in Sudan since conflict between two rival generals erupt­ed in April, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said on Sunday in a new report that exposes the scale of the catastrophe engulfing the African nation.

Even before the fighting inten­sified, years of political instability meant Sudan had several million people internally displaced. The country also hosted 1.13 million refugees from other conflict-rid­den countries, including South Sudan, Eritrea and Syria, accord­ing to UNHCR data.

The new outbreak of violence has forced a fresh wave of people to leave their homes, either mov­ing elsewhere in Sudan or cross­ing into neighbouring countries.

The new estimate cited figures from several UN agencies.

Since fighting broke out on April 15, more than 1 million have been displaced internally in the country as of May 23, accord­ing to the UN’s International Or­ganisation for Migration (IOM)’s Displacement Tracking Matrix.

The number of newly internal­ly displaced people in just over five weeks (15 April to 23 May) is comparable to that recorded for all displacement in the country from 2020 to 2022,” the release said.

As of May 26, a further 345,000 had fled Sudan into neighbouring countries, includ­ing Egypt, Chad and Ethiopia, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Amid the vast displacement, there have been increasing re­ports of gender-based violence and domestic violence, especial­ly among internally displaced Sudanese populations, the UN Population Fund said.

Alarmingly, reports of “sex­ual violence against women and girls, including allegations of rape, committed by the parties to the conflict,” have also been recorded, said Pramila Patten, the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict.

The current conflict pits the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) against its rival, the Rapid Sup­port Forces (RSF). Fighting has continued despite the agreement for a seven-day ceasefire that started on May 22, brokered by Saudi Arabia and the United States.

There are fears of further esca­lation with the ceasefire expected to end on Monday.

MastiuraIshakh Yousouff is only 22 but has been internal­ly displaced in Sudan’s Darfur region for most of her life.

Thousands of foreign nation­als have escaped the country as Western and regional powers stepped in to evacuate their own citizens, but thousands of fami­lies have risked perilous journeys from the capital, Khartoum, and other parts of Sudan as they have been left to fend for themselves, or flee to neighbouring pover­ty-stricken countries.

At least 730 individuals have been killed and about 5,500 others wounded as of May 23, according to Sudan’s Federal Ministry of Health.

Since the conflict began, at least eight humanitarian workers and eight health workers have been killed, the UN said.

A separate toll kept by the Preliminary Committee of Sudan Doctors’ Union said at least 850 people have been killed with some 3,400 wounded.

Deadly attacks have been reported in multiple parts of the war-torn country and civilian facilities were damaged with re­ports of looting and unexploded devices seen in urban areas, the UN release said.

There have been at least 38 attacks on health care premises in Sudan since April 15, the World Health Organisation report­ed. This includes 22 attacks on health facilities, six attacks which impacted warehouses, and nine attacks which affected supplies, among others.

In East Darfur, more than 30 babies died in a hospital in Ad Du’ayn, including six newborn babies, due to problems, includ­ing lack of oxygen and an elec­tricity blackout, WHO reported.


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