Home World Sudan crisis: 800,000 refugees could flee amid conflict, U.N. warns

Sudan crisis: 800,000 refugees could flee amid conflict, U.N. warns


More than 800,000 people could flee Sudan if fighting continues, triggering a massive refugee crisis in the region, the United Nations refugee agency has warned. Some 73,000 refugees have left the war-torn Horn of Africa country, the agency said Monday, as the ongoing bout of violence enters a third week.

The latest influx of displaced people will add to the challenges of Sudan’s neighbors, who are hosting a large number of Sudanese refugees from previous conflicts. Some 30,000 people have arrived in recent weeks in Chad, already a temporary home to 400,000 refugees from its eastern neighbor.

International efforts to push the warring factions to a peace deal have grown more urgent, as recent cease-fires have not been completely observed. A top U.N. humanitarian official, Martin Griffiths, is in Nairobi and will head to Sudan soon. The Organization of Islamic Cooperation — which Sudan is a part of — will hold an emergency meeting in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia, on Wednesday to discuss how to restore peace in Sudan. Representatives of the two sides locked in combat could soon meet in Saudi Arabia for talks, a senior U.N. official told the Associated Press.

Analysis: Sudan nears ‘breaking point’ as foreigners flee

The conflict pits Sudan’s military, under the leadership of de facto head of state Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, against the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces of Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, commonly known as Hemedti. The power struggle between the two generals has killed at least 500 people and injured thousands, according to the United Nations.

Amid widespread human misery, many citizens are without adequate food, power or water. The public health system was on the verge of collapse, with a majority of hospitals not operating, according to the World Health Organization. Residents of Khartoum, the capital, who ventured outdoors Monday saw bodies and looting, Reuters reported.

The World Food Program — which had suspended operations out of safety concerns — said it would resume food distribution in four states in the coming days.

They fled fighting in Sudan, only to find a crisis at the Egyptian border

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken phoned African leaders, including Comorian President Azali Assoumani — who holds the rotating chair of the African Union — on Monday to press for collective action to bring an end to the fighting.

International evacuations continued, with three U.S.-facilitated convoys taking 700 people, including Americans and nationals from partner countries, from Khartoum to Port Sudan over the past few days, a State Department spokesman said Monday. Many will then travel to Jiddah. More than 2,100 people have been evacuated by Britain from Sudan, the U.K. Foreign Office said Monday.

Russia’s Defense Ministry said early Tuesday that four planes evacuated about 200 citizens of Russia and neighboring countries from Sudan.

Nigeria’s Azman Air will also evacuate citizens stuck on the chaotic Egypt border Tuesday, the airline said on Twitter.

Missy Ryan in Washington contributed to this report.

Source link


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here