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FILE PHOTO: Passengers fleeing Sudan cross into Egypt through the Argeen Land Port. /CFP

UN says nearly eight million people displaced by Sudan conflict

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The number of people uprooted by the conflict between rival generals in Sudan is almost eight million, the United Nations said on Wednesday.

UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi, who is on a visit to Ethiopia, called for “urgent and additional support to meet their needs”, his agency said in a statement disclosing the numbers.

“I heard stories of heartbreaking loss of family, friends, homes and livelihoods,” Grandi said in the statement.

The conflict between Sudan’s army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and his former deputy, Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, commander of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), erupted in mid-April last year.

Diplomatic efforts to end the violence continue but have failed to bear fruit, and numerous ceasefires have been broken.

Nearly eight million people have been displaced internally or fled to other countries by the “brutal conflict”, the UN said Wednesday.

“Without further donor support, it will be extremely difficult to deliver much-needed help to those who need it most,” Grandi said.

As of January 21, the number of people displaced stood at 7.6 million, with children accounting for about half, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

Over 100,000 people have fled into Ethiopia, one of the six neighbouring countries sheltering the refugees, according to latest UN estimates.

The number of people who have gone to Chad since the war began crossed 500,000 last week, and an average of 1,500 flee into South Sudan each day, the UN statement said.

As of 21 January, almost 517,000 people were recorded crossing the border from Sudan to South Sudan since April, the OCHA said.

The war has killed at least 13,000 people, according to a conservative estimate by the Conflict Location and Event Data project.

Sudan’s government this month spurned an invitation to a summit organized by the IGAD East African bloc and subsequently suspended its membership in the group for engaging with Daglo.

Both sides have been accused of war crimes, including the indiscriminate shelling of residential areas, torture, and arbitrary detention of civilians.

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