Four months of conflict in Sudan have caused huge humanitarian disasters and human rights violations, a group of United Nations (UN) agencies warned here on Tuesday.
William Spindler, spokesperson for UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), told a press briefing that since the start of the conflict in April, over 4.3 million people had been forced to flee.
Fighting between the Sudanese army and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), a paramilitary group led by General Mohamed Hamdan Dagolo, better known as Hemedti, has devastated the capital Khartoum and sparked ethnically driven attacks in Darfur.
Margaret Harris, spokesperson for the World Health Organization (WHO), said that the conflict had had devastating impacts on people’s lives, health and well-being.
“About 67% of hospitals were out of service in most affected areas. In the four months, WHO had verified 53 attacks on health care, which had killed 11 people, injured 38, and along with other disruptions, had denied access to care for tens of thousands of people,” she said.
Elizabeth Throssell, spokesperson for the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), said although it was difficult to establish an exact number of casualties for now, tentative figures indicated that more than 4,000 people had so far been killed, including hundreds of civilians.
She called on all parties to the conflict to immediately stop the fighting, resume political talks, comply with their legal obligations under international humanitarian law, protect civilians from military activities and allow urgent, unimpeded humanitarian access.
Laila Baker, Regional Director for the Arab States at the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), said UNFPA was very concerned that as the conflict continued, the battle lines were hardening, making it ever more difficult to reach the millions of people who needed urgent humanitarian assistance.
Baker told reporters that over 2.6 million women and girls required humanitarian assistance, among which around 260,000 were currently pregnant, and almost 100,000 were expected to give birth over the next three months.
“Without critical health services, their lives and those of their children, the future generation, were severely at risk,” the official said.
Adam Yao, Deputy Representative in Sudan of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), said that the food security situation in Sudan called for urgent attention and coordinated action, with about 20.3 million people — or over 42% of the population — facing high levels of acute food insecurity.
UAE denies supplying arms, ammunition to Sudan’s warring parties
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Sunday dismissed claims that it had supplied warring parties in Sudan with arms and ammunition.
“The UAE does not take sides in the current conflict engulfing Sudan, and seeks an end to the conflict and calls for respecting Sudan’s sovereignty,” UAE’s official news agency WAM quoted Foreign Ministry official Afra Al Hameli as saying.
The UAE official made the remarks after the Wall Street Journal reported last week that crates of weapons and ammunition were found on a UAE-sent cargo plane that had arrived in Uganda in early June, instead of aid for Sudanese refugees as indicated by the flight records.