“WHOAA! UN reports staggering figure with over 700,000 Sudanese internally displaced due to conflict”
The ongoing conflict between Sudan’s generals is wreaking havoc on innocent civilians, with the number of displaced individuals doubling in just one week, as declared by the United Nations on Tuesday. While hundreds have already died due to the fighting, new concerns are emerging as additional ethnic clashes claim more lives in the south of the country. Moreover, a formidable group located in the eastern region, which up to this point had not been impacted by the war, recently demonstrated in support of the army.
Currently, more than 700,000 people have been forced from their homes due to the ongoing conflict that has lasted for four weeks. International Organization for Migration spokesperson Paul Dillon reported that the number internally displaced went from 340,000 to 700,000 in just one day. Alarming reports also indicate that more people are attempting to flee Sudan and cross the border to neighboring countries, running away from the fighting led by Abdel Fattah al-Burhan’s army and his adversary Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, who controls the heavily armed paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF).
Although the conflict has been concentrated in the country’s capital, Khartoum, the western Darfur region has also fallen victim to fierce battles. As the war escalates, people in these war-stricken areas of the country face scarcity of vital resources such as water, food, and healthcare. It’s worth noting that even before the conflict began, roughly a third of Sudan’s population required humanitarian aid to survive.
To complicate matters even further, ethnic unrest has been another significant issue that the country has faced over the years. Recently, foreign-led evacuations by air, sea, and land have helped thousands escape the conflict, and yet, one rally held earlier this week in Port Sudan, a city located along the Red Sea, has sparked concerns. In the rally, a group of Beja individuals showed support for the army and called for it to arm civilians, which is worrisome in a country with a history of ethnic turmoil. The Beja people at the rally shouted “One army, one people” and “no to negotiations,” referring to ceasefire discussions taking place in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, between the army and the RSF. The United States supports these discussions, but they have not yielded any progress thus far.
According to Mahmoud al-Bishary, a member of the Beja group, “We, all of us Beja, are ready to be armed and protect the country and our honor.” This sort of messaging raises alarms about the prolonged conflict between the country’s generals. As the war continues, there is a growing risk that Sudanese people may begin to arm themselves locally, or worse, the army may form a counter-militia to the RSF.
Even before the current conflict began, Sudan was grappling with internal conflicts that resulted in roughly 900 deaths last year. These conflicts are often sparked by scarce resources like water, and they indicate Sudan’s security breakdown since Burhan and Daglo seized power in October 2021, toppling longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir and derailing a transition towards democracy.
Since then, Burhan and Daglo have been embroiled in a power struggle, leading to the current conflict. According to state media reports, there were ethnic clashes between the Hausa and Nuba ethnic groups in Kosti, the capital of White Nile state, that left at least 16 people dead, several injured, and resulted in a regional nighttime curfew. Kosti is the last significant city before South Sudan, where over 42,000 returnees who previously sought safety within Sudan now flee again due to the war.
The humanitarian situation in Sudan has been catastrophic, with UN facilities and partner organizations suffering large-scale looting. In fact, the World Food Program in Khartoum was recently robbed over the weekend. As there seems to be no end to the fighting in sight, witnesses reported that different kinds of weapons were fired in northern Khartoum, and clashes continued in the city’s south on Tuesday.