Fri, 02 June 2023
The Daily Ittefaq

Sudan updates: UN advises against returns amid bloodshed

Update : 06 May 2023, 01:02

The UN refugee agency has advised governments not to return people to Sudan amid an ongoing conflict there. Meanwhile, Arab ministers will meet in Cairo this weekend to discuss the fighting.

The United Nations' refugee agency, UNHCR, said on Friday that it was telling governments not to return people to Sudan as fighting between two rival generals continues to rage.

"We're advising governments not to return people to Sudan because of the conflict that's going on there," Elizabeth Tan, UNHCR's director of international protection, told reporters at a briefing in Geneva.

"This applies to Sudanese nationals, to foreign nationals, including refugees who are being hosted in Sudan, stateless persons, as well as those who do not have a passport or any other form of identification," Tan said.

Witnesses said the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, has been hit by further airstrikes and gunfire on Friday in fighting that has killed hundreds and caused almost half a million people to flee their homes.

About 100,000 of those have fled Sudan to neighboring countries, the United Nations says.

The UNHCR said on Thursday said it was preparing for 860,000 people to leave Sudan. It said $445 million (€404 million) would be needed to support them just up to November.

Even before the conflict broke out, some 15 million people — a third of Sudan's population — were in need of food aid, according to UN estimates.

The clashes broke out in mid-April, pitting forces loyal to Sudan's de facto leader, Abdel-Fattah Burhan, who leads the regular army against those of his deputy, Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo, known more commonly as Hemeti.

Hemeti commands the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), which are descended from the notorious Janjaweed militias that have been accused of committing atrocities during the Darfur conflict two decades ago.

The current fighting has persisted despite threats of US sanctions and multiple truces that have been agreed during the three weeks of battles so far.

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