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UN says Sudan faces 'inferno of brutal violence,' famine

May 16, 2024

The UN's humanitarian coordinator for Sudan said residents of the country were at risk of famine as the rainy season approaches. The violence between the army and paramilitary forces has made it hard to deliver aid.

A woman carries her child at a camp for internally displaced people in Sudan.
Millions of people in Sudan have been displaced by the conflictImage: Albert Gonzalez Faran/Unamid/Han/dpa/picture alliance

People in Sudan are "trapped in an inferno of brutal violence," the UN's humanitarian coordinator for Sudan, Clementine Nkweta-Salami, said on Wednesday. 

"Famine is closing in. Diseases are closing in. The fighting is closing in and there's no end in sight," she said, adding that "horrific atrocities are being committed with reckless abandon, reports of rape, torture and ethnically motivated violence are streaming in."

She warned more than 4 million people were at great risk of famine due to the upcoming rainy season and the blocking of aid.

Conflict in Sudan

In April 2023, conflict broke out between the Sudanese army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF). Thousands have died and almost 9 million have been displaced since then.

The fighting has spread across the country, especially in areas like western Darfur.

Nkweta-Salami said hostilities in the city of El Fasher have been escalating, and clashes over the last week caused dozens of casualties and displaced many people.

She said rains would affect mobility in the country due to water logging on roads, and the farming season could fail if seeds weren't procured and delivered to farmers.

"In short, the people of Sudan are in the path of a perfect storm that is growing more lethal by the day," she said.

Fighting in densely populated areas has increased, according to reports, as the RSF tries to gain control of El-Fasher.

Nkweta-Salami added that UN trucks delivering medical aid and food left Port Sudan on April 3 but have not managed to reach El Fasher yet.

9 million people displaced by war in Sudan

tg/sms (AFP, AP)