UNHCR Warns Of Further Displacement Of People From Sudan

U.N. refugee agency UNHCR has warned of further displacement of people from Sudan after thousands streamed into neighboring Chad and South Sudan

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U.N. refugee agency UNHCR has warned of further displacement of people from Sudan after thousands streamed into neighboring Chad and South Sudan.

This comes despite a tenuous cease-fire between the two warring Sudanese generals battling for control of the country. The fighting has plunged Sudan into chaos, pushing the already heavily aid-dependent African nation to the brink of collapse.

UNHCR spokeswoman Olga Sarrado said since the clashes erupted on April 15, at least 20,000 Sudanese have fled into Chad and some 4,000 South Sudanese refugees have returned to their home country,.

She said the figures could rise, stating that she did not have figures for the five other countries neighboring Sudan, but UNHCR has cited unspecified numbers of those fleeing Sudan arriving in Egypt.

The UNHCR was scaling up its operations, she said, even as foreign governments have raced to evacuate their embassy staff and citizens from Sudan. Many Sudanese have desperately sought ways to escape the chaos, fearing late their all-out battle for power once evacuations are completed.

Several previous cease-fires have failed, although intermittent lulls during the weekend’s major Muslim holiday allowed for dramatic evacuations of hundreds of diplomats, aid workers and other foreigners by air and land.

More than 800,000 South Sudanese refugees live in Sudan, a quarter of them in the capital of Khartoum, where they are directly affected by the fighting.

Dozens of hospitals have shuttered in Khartoum and elsewhere across the country due to the fighting, and dwindling medical and fuel supplies according to the Sudanese Doctors’ Syndicate.

The International Committee of the Red Cross welcomed the announced cease-fire as a “potential lifesaver for civilians” trapped in their homes in fighting-hit areas.

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