A day after it reported that seven million people have been displaced by the conflict, the UN Security Council expressed “alarm” at growing violence in war-torn Sudan.
In a joint statement, 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, reflecting the worsening situation in the country.
In addition to the seven million internally displaced people, the UN said Thursday another 1.5 million had fled into neighboring countries.
Since fighting broke out on April 15 between army chief Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan and his former deputy, Rapid Support Forces (RSF) commander Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, the city of Wad Madani, 180 kilometers (110 miles) south of Khartoum, had become a haven for thousands of displaced people during the conflict.
But the Security Council said fighting had 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.
As the rival security forces battle for the city’s strongpoints, shopkeepers boarded up their stores this week to ward off looters while women disappeared from the streets for fear of sexual violence.
The Council called on the warring parties to allow for “rapid, safe and unhindered humanitarian access throughout Sudan.”
It condemned a December 10 attack on a convoy belonging to the International Committee of the Red Cross and called for “the scaling up of humanitarian assistance to Sudan.”
The war between the army and the RSF has killed 12,190 people, according to conservative estimates by the Armed Conflict Locations and Events Data project.