The war in Sudan has caused an “unimaginable” humanitarian crisis, with almost six million people displaced within and outside the country, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) said on Monday.
The UNHCR said that the displaced people, especially women and children, face lack of food, shelter, water, health care, and education. Many of them have fled to neighboring countries such as Ethiopia, South Sudan, and Chad, where they live in overcrowded camps or host communities.
The UNHCR also said that the war has resulted in widespread violations of human rights, including killings, rapes, torture, and recruitment of child soldiers. It urged all parties to the conflict to respect international humanitarian law and cease hostilities.
The war in Sudan began in 2019, when a military coup ousted the long-time president Omar al-Bashir, who was accused of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court. The coup triggered a violent backlash from pro-Bashir forces and armed groups, who have been fighting the transitional government and its allies.
The UNHCR official highlighted the situation in the volatile Darfur region, where fighting between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) has caused even more displacement with thousands struggling to find shelter and many sleeping under trees by the roadside.
“We are very concerned about them not having access to food, shelter, clean drinking water or other basic essentials,” she said.
“It is shameful that the atrocities committed 20 years ago in Darfur can be happening again today with such little attention.”
The head of the UN’s reproductive rights agency highlighted her meetings with women leaders and survivors of sexual and gender-based violence and those supporting them, reiterating the importance of empowering women and their allies in building a just, peaceful and prosperous future for Chad.
“And at this fraught moment in human history, it is clear that the fate of humanity does not belong in the hands of men wielding bombs, indeed it rests with women and allies standing together waging peace,” she said.
The international community has been largely silent and inactive on the crisis in Sudan, despite the urgent appeals from the UN and other humanitarian actors. Some experts have warned that the situation in Sudan could worsen if no action is taken soon.
- An unimaginable humanitarian crisis is unfolding in Sudan – UNHCR, UNHCR, 07 November 2023
- Sudan war turning ‘homes into cemeteries’: UNHCR, UN News, 07 November 2023
- The Cost of Inaction: Sudan’s Worsening Humanitarian Crisis, MIR Online, 07 November 2023
- OCHA – ‘Sudan Experiencing Humanitarian Crisis of Epic Proportions’, MSN, 06 November 2023