Nearly eight million displaced by war in Sudan: UN

(LONDON) — Nearly eight million people have been displaced by the war in Sudan as the conflict enters its 10th month, the United Nation has announced.

The conflict, which erupted on April 15, 2023, between the Rapid Support Forces Paramilitary group (RSF) and the Sudanese Army (SAF) after weeks of tensions linked to planned civilian rule, has killed at least 12,000 people according to the U.N.

Local groups, however, say the true toll is likely much higher than that.

“I heard stories of heartbreaking loss of family, friends, homes and livelihoods in the midst of this despair,” said U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, speaking as he concluded his three-day visit to Ethiopia. “Without further donor support, it will be extremely difficult to deliver much-needed help to those who need it most.”

Since April 2023, over 1.5 million people have fled to neighboring nations, with more than 500,000 fleeing into the border country of Chad, says the U.N. — 86% of whom are women and children.

A further 100,000 people have crossed into Ethiopia and, in South Sudan, an estimated 1,500 refugees flow into it daily.

Aid organizations tell ABC News the situation is “dire,” with nearly 25 million people — almost 50% of Sudan’s total population — in need of humanitarian aid as humanitarian access remains a “major issue” and health systems “near collapse.”

U.N. Chief Fillipo Grandi has called on further “urgent” and “additional” support to meet their needs.

As the war continues, International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor Karim Khan this week announced the ICC had “grounds to believe” war crimes under the Rome Statute are being committed in Darfur by both the RSF and SAF.

“I can confirm to the council that we are collecting a very significant body of material, information and evidence that is relevant to those particular crimes,” Khan said speaking at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). “The situation is dire by any metric.”

The impact of the war has been devastating as “profound” damage has ravaged “nearly every sector” of the northeast African nation. Many civilian homes continued to be occupied by militia groups, while civilian jewelry, cars and other items have been looted and often smuggled into neighboring countries.

As international demands for a cessation of hostilities continue, senior leaders from the SAF and RSF are reported to have met three times this month in Bahrain, attended by officials from Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.

“We want to see both parties return to the negotiating table, we want to see a ceasefire that is actually adhered to and we want to see both parties to this conflict stop their brutal attacks on civilians and actually take actions that are in the interests of the people of Sudan,” said U.S. State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller.

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