Conflict in Sudan displaces more than 1.3 million people, including some 320,000 to neighboring countries

Fighting between the Sudanese army and a powerful paramilitary force has displaced more than 1.3 million people, the UN migration agency said on Wednesday.

The International Organization for Migration said the clashes forced more than a million people to leave their homes for safer areas inside Sudan. Some 320,000 others have fled to neighboring countries of Egypt, South Sudan, Chad, Ethiopia, Central African Republic and Libya.

The fighting erupted on April 15 after months of escalating tensions between the army, led by General Abdel-Fattah Burhan, and the Rapid Support Forces commanded by General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo. The conflict has derailed Sudanese hopes of restoring the country’s fragile transition to democracy, which was disrupted by a military coup led by the two generals in October 2021.

The conflict has killed at least 863 civilians, including at least 190 children, and injured more than 3,530 others, according to the most recent figures from the Sudanese Doctors Syndicate – which mainly tracks civilian casualties. It has also pushed the East African country to the brink of collapse, with urban areas in the capital Khartoum and its neighboring city of Omdurman turning into battlegrounds.

Egypt hosts the largest number of those who fled, with at least 132,360 people, followed by Chad with 80,000 and South Sudan with more than 69,000, the agency added.


Sporadic fighting continued Wednesday in several areas, despite a ceasefire reached this week. Residents reported hearing gunshots and explosions in central Khartoum as well as in areas near military installations in Omdurman.

The week-long ceasefire, brokered by the United States and Saudi Arabia, came into effect on Monday evening. It was the latest international effort to press for the delivery of humanitarian aid to the conflict-torn country.

Sudanese nationals stranded in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, arrive at Port Sudan airport on May 11, 2023. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)

A joint statement by the United States and Saudi Arabia on Tuesday night warned that neither the Sudanese military nor the Rapid Support Forces observed the short-term ceasefire.

“The people of Sudan continue to suffer from this devastating conflict,” the statement said. He called on both sides to “fully respect their commitments” and implement the temporary ceasefire to deliver emergency humanitarian aid.

Earlier on Tuesday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned both sides of possible sanctions if the latest ceasefire is broken.


The fighting has exacerbated the already dire humanitarian conditions in Sudan. According to the UN, the number of people in need of assistance this year has increased by 57% to 24.7 million people, more than half of the country’s population. The international body said it would need $2.6 billion to provide them with much-needed humanitarian aid.

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