Five million people have been displaced by the ongoing civil war in Sudan, creating a humanitarian emergency that requires urgent attention and support.
This mounting crisis is a result of months of intense fighting between the Sudanese military, led by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, and the rival paramilitary force known as the Rapid Support Forces, commanded by Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, also known as Hemedti.
The International Organization for Migration has confirmed the alarming displacement figures, echoing the concerns raised by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees that more than $1 billion would be needed to provide the necessary support for those fleeing the violence and seeking refuge in neighbouring countries.
Since the conflict erupted in mid-April, over four million people have been internally displaced within Sudan itself, according to the IOM. Additionally, approximately 1.1 million individuals have sought refuge in neighbouring countries, with Egypt and Chad hosting over 750,000 of them. These individuals have been forced to leave their homes, communities, and livelihoods, in search of safety and stability in the face of violence and insecurity.
The dire situation in Sudan is further exacerbated by the fact that an estimated 24.7 million Sudanese, roughly half of the country’s population, are in need of critical humanitarian aid and protection. The conflict has severely disrupted trade routes, leading to the scarcity of essential supplies such as food, water, medicines, and fuel. As a result, prices have skyrocketed, making it even more challenging for vulnerable populations to access the basic necessities required for survival.
According to Mamadou Dian Balde, the regional bureau director for the east and Horn of Africa and Great Lakes at UNHCR, the crisis has prompted a pressing need for humanitarian assistance. The individuals arriving in remote border areas are finding themselves in desperate situations due to insufficient services, inadequate infrastructure, and limited access. Despite the efforts of our partners involved in this response, the lack of donor resources severely hampers these efforts.
Balde has reported a dire state of health among new arrivals in the Central African Republic, Chad, Egypt, Ethiopia, and South Sudan. This includes high levels of malnutrition and outbreaks of diseases such as cholera and measles. It is truly distressing to hear reports of preventable deaths in children if only there were sufficient resources available.
Nearly five months ago, Sudan was plunged into chaos when long-standing tensions between the military escalated into open warfare. As a result, Sudan’s capital city Khartoum has become an urban battlefield where neither side has achieved control.
In addition to this turmoil, ethnic violence has emerged in the western Darfur region—a place notorious for genocidal campaigns in the early 2000s. Rights groups and the United Nations have confirmed that Arab militias supported by RSF are targeting ethnic African groups.
The formal peace negotiations, which were mediated by the United States and Saudi Arabia in the coastal town of Jeddah, came to a halt at the end of June. During this time, both mediators publicly criticised the RSF and the army for their persistent violation of truces.
Attempts to mediate the conflict and bring about a peaceful resolution have thus far proven unsuccessful. Despite numerous ceasefire agreements, all have ultimately broken down, prolonging the suffering of the Sudanese people. The international community must continue to prioritise diplomatic efforts and provide much-needed support to all stakeholders involved in the conflict, in order to find a comprehensive and lasting solution.