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UN Security Council voices ‘alarm’ at rising violence in Sudan

Displaced people fleeing from al-Jazirah state arrive in Gedaref in the east of war-torn Sudan on December 22, 2023(File Photo by AFP)

The United Nations Security Council has voiced “alarm” at mounting violence in Sudan, as the ongoing civil war in the country has displaced over seven million civilians.

In a statement released on Friday, the council “strongly condemned” attacks on civilians and the spread of the conflict “into areas hosting large populations of internally displaced persons, refugees, and asylum seekers.”

“The members of the Security Council expressed alarm at the spreading violence and deteriorating humanitarian situation in Sudan,” the statement said.

The fighting in Sudan began in mid-April over a power struggle between army chief, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, and his former deputy, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, who commands the RSF.

According to a conservative estimate by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project, the civil war has so far claimed the lives of more than 12,190 people and wounded thousands more.

In its statement, the Security Council called on the warring parties to allow for “rapid, safe and unhindered humanitarian access throughout Sudan.”

It also called on warring parties to allow for “the scaling up of humanitarian assistance to Sudan.”

In addition, it condemned an attack that occurred on December 10 on an International Committee of the Red Cross convoy.

Since the fighting started, thousands of displaced people sheltered in the city of Wad Madani, 180 kilometers (110 miles) south of Khartoum.

However, according to the Security Council, fighting has spread there too, causing refugees to flee once again.

“According to the International Organization for Migration, up to 300,000 people have fled Wad Madani in Al-Jazira state in a new wave of large-scale displacement,” UN secretary-general’s spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Thursday. 

Since April, more than 5.4 million people in Sudan have been internally displaced, while about 1.3 million have fled abroad, the UN says.

Both sides have been accused of indiscriminate shelling of residential areas, as well as targeting, looting and harassing civilians.

The United Nations, the Arab League, and many countries in the world have urged the warring sides to show restraint and engage in dialog to end the hostilities.

The African country, home to 45 million people, is also dealing with a severe economic crisis and an inflation reaching 400 percent.

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