Mass Exodus From Sudan As Deadly Fighting Enters Third Week

UN High Commission for Human Rights says hundreds of thousands of people have fled Sudan in the past two weeks, with thousands remaining trapped in the country.

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UN High Commission for Human Rights says hundreds of thousands of people have fled Sudan in the past two weeks, with thousands remaining trapped in the country.

Tens of thousands of people from the western Darfur region, have crossed the border into Chad while others are trying to reach South Sudan, the Central African Republic, Egypt or Ethiopia, raising fears of vast displacement from a country with 45 million inhabitants.

Despite the latest three-day ceasefire army forces clashed with paramilitaries on Sunday in Sudan’s capital Khartoum as fighting was being reported around the army headquarters in the centre of the city.

The Sudanese army is also carrying out air strikes in the capital’s twin city of Omdurman across the Nile River.

Although countries like Saudi Arabia, France and the United States have managed to repatriate nationals and diplomats back home in recent days, millions of civilians living in Khartoum are caught up in the chaos.

Analysts say without outside help, they risk their lives on the road or stay cloistered in their homes, where they have to endure crippling shortages of water and electricity.    

More than 14,000 Sudanese people and a further 2,000 nationals from other countries have crossed into Egypt since the conflict began, according to the country’s government.

Violent battles between the forces of army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and his former number two Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, who commands the paramilitary RSF, have rocked the country since April 15. The deadly clashes have sparked a mass exodus of civilians, the scale of which is still hard to pin down.

Meanwhile, International Organisation for Migration (IOM) spokesperson Eric Mazago told AFP on Thursday that more than 3,500 people have moved southeast into Ethiopia between April 21 and 25.

Another hot spot in the Sudan conflict is the western region of Darfur, still scarred by a war that erupted in 2003. Its capital, El Geneina, has seen a surge in attacks on civilians in recent days.

At least 20,000 people crossed into Chad during the first 10 days of fighting, according to the UNHCR, despite its government closing the border with Sudan at the start of the conflict on April 15.

The country already hosted more than 400,000 Sudanese refugees across 13 camps in local communities, who had fled the 2003 to 2010 genocide.

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