Sudan conflict reaches gruesome milestone


Sudan conflict escalates. Photo by Getty Images

from RAJI BASHIR in Khartoum, Sudan
Sudan Bureau
KHARTOUM, (CAJ News) – MONDAY, today, marks a grim milestone in the conflict in Sudan as it marks exactly the year it started.

Fighting broke out between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) on April 15 in 2023.

Since then, thousands have been killed, millions forced to flee their homes and the conflict spread further than the capital, Khartoum, and Darfur.

The war, which shows no sign of relenting, has sparked economic turmoil across the region that is deepening the hunger crisis.

Sudan and its neighbours are experiencing one of the largest and most challenging humanitarian and displacement crises in the world.

The number of Sudanese forced to flee has now surpassed 8,6 million people, with 1,8 million of them having crossed borders.

Cindy McCain, World Food Programme (WFP) Executive Director, said, “The fighting must stop now, or the region may soon become the world’s largest hunger crisis.”

Human Rights Watch (HRW) said as global and regional leaders meet in Paris to spotlight Sudan and mark the one-year anniversary of the country’s conflict, they should make clear that those responsible for ongoing atrocities and other violations of international humanitarian law would be held to account.

This includes widespread intentional killings of civilians, unlawful attacks on civilian infrastructure, as well as the deliberate looting of aid, which constitute war crimes.

An estimated 15 000 people have been killed.

“The warring parties in Sudan have inflicted tremendous suffering on Sudanese from all walks of life. The global response to Sudan’s brutal conflict needs to change,” said Mohamed Osman, Sudan researcher at HRW.

Areas of agricultural land have degenerated into battlegrounds, while farms and businesses stand abandoned as people have fled for safety.

There are huge cash shortages nationwide and repeated cuts to communication channels. Food prices are 73 percent higher than last year and 350 percent above the five-year averages, exacerbated by the currency’s devaluation.

Meanwhile, cross-border trade from Sudan – a lifeline for landlocked South Sudan – has come close to a standstill since the onset of the war.

In Chad, food prices in the east have nearly doubled in the last year.

Border closures have severely restricted trade and the availability of food in the markets. Nearly half of all refugees and returnees in eastern Chad are facing acute hunger as the lean season approaches.

– CAJ News

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