Home Africa One Year Of Sudan Civil War: Fighting Intense, Refugee Numbers Swell

One Year Of Sudan Civil War: Fighting Intense, Refugee Numbers Swell

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The civil war in Sudan is now a year old with no end in sight to the fighting between the Sudanese army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Force (RSF). According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), nearly two million Sudanese refugees have streamed into neighbouring South Sudan, Chad, the Central African Republic, Egypt, Ethiopia and Uganda.

Over 13,000 have been reported killed and thousands more injured, add to that sexual and gender-based violence, the Sudan civil war is perhaps the worst conflict in Africa.

“Sudan has experienced the almost complete destruction of its urban middle class, architects, doctors, teachers, nurses, engineers and students, have lost everything,” said Olga Sarrado, UNHCR spokesperson said. “Access constraints, security risks and logistical challenges are hampering the humanitarian response. Without incomes and amid disrupted aid deliveries, people cannot get food prompting warnings of hunger and malnutrition.”

Bulk of the refugees numbering around 640,000 are in South Sudan but with over 1,800 arriving every day, the infrastructure is overstretched. In Chad, there are over 560,000 refugees and while most have been relocated to expanded settlements, 150,000 remain along the border in unsanitary conditions. Ethiopia also reported more than 50,000 Sudanese refugees.

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“Those crossing borders, mostly women and children, are arriving in remote areas with little to nothing and in desperate need of food, water, shelter and medical care,” Olga Sarrado said.

She warned that funding remained “critically low”, with only seven per cent of the Regional Refugee Response Plan having been met. The situation in Sudan was worse with only six per cent funding.

Calls for a ceasefire during the holy month of Ramadan fell on deaf ears and it appears likely that the situation may not ease even during Eid. Some mobile connectivity has been restored but this remains patchy at best. Port Sudan has been functioning as the administrative capital since August last year. Eastern Sudan is the one area deemed safe so far but may not be for long as drone strikes by the RSF on army positions have been reported.