The United Nations warns that Sudan is “spinning out of control” with one million people fleeing

  • The number of refugees rises to more than a million
  • Residents face attacks, looting and power outages
  • Many of the bodies have not been collected or identified

(Reuters) – The United Nations warned on Tuesday that more than a million people have fled Sudan to neighboring countries, are running out of food inside the country and dying from lack of healthcare after four months of war.

Fighting between the Sudanese army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces has devastated the capital, Khartoum, and sparked ethnically motivated attacks in Darfur, threatening to plunge Sudan into a protracted civil war and destabilize the region.

“Farmers are running out of time to plant crops that will feed them and their neighbours. Medical supplies are scarce. The situation is spiraling out of control,” UN agencies said in a joint statement.

“At the end of the day, this war will end at the negotiating table,” said Vice President of the Sovereignty Council Malik Agar, in a possible softening of the army’s position, citing the hardships endured by citizens.

The war has caused 1,017,449 people to cross from Sudan to neighboring countries, many of whom are already suffering from the impact of conflicts or economic crises, while the number of people displaced within Sudan is estimated at 3,433,025, according to the latest weekly figures published by the International Organization for Migration. .

Fighting broke out on April 15 due to tensions related to the planned transition to civilian rule, exposing civilians in and outside the capital to daily battles and attacks.

The millions who remained in Khartoum and cities in the Darfur and Kordofan regions faced rampant looting and prolonged cuts in electricity, communications and water.

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“The remains of many of those killed have not been collected, identified or buried,” Elisabeth Throssell, spokeswoman for the High Commissioner for Human Rights, told a news briefing in Geneva, but the United Nations estimates more than 4,000 were killed.

A Chadian army officer responds as Chadian vehicle owners transport belongings of Sudanese who fled conflict in Sudan’s Darfur region, as they cross the border between Sudan and Chad, in Adre, Chad August 4, 2023. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra/File Photo Acquisition of licensing rights

Reports of sexual assaults have increased by 50%, said Leila Bakr, an official with the United Nations Population Fund.

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Large parts of the country have suffered power outages since Sunday that also cut mobile phone networks, according to a statement from the National Electricity Authority.

Agar said that circumstances required the formation of a caretaker government to provide services and rebuild.

The United Nations estimates that the monsoon rains, which increase the risk of waterborne diseases, have destroyed or damaged the homes of up to 13,500 people.

In a speech on Monday, army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan accused the RSF of seeking to “return the country to the era before the modern state” and “committing every imaginable crime.”

The RSF accused the army of trying to seize power entirely under the guidance of loyalists to Omar al-Bashir, the authoritarian leader who was ousted during a popular uprising in 2019.

Efforts led by Saudi Arabia and the United States to negotiate a cease-fire in the current conflict have stalled, and humanitarian agencies struggle to provide relief due to insecurity, looting and bureaucratic hurdles.

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(Reporting by Khaled Abdelaziz in Dubai, Nafisa Eltaher in Cairo, and Gabrielle Tetro-Farber in Geneva; Writing by Aidan Lewis; Editing by Alexandra Hudson and Jonathan Otis

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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