The Numbers Out of Sudan Are Jarring

More than 100K have fled the country's fighting, and the UN warns the total may reach 800K
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 2, 2023 12:18 PM CDT
The Numbers Out of Sudan Are Jarring
In this photo, evacuees and military personnel board an RAF aircraft bound for Cyprus from Wadi Seidna Air Base in Sudan on Saturday.   (PO Phot Arron Hoare/UK Defense Ministry via AP)

Two rival generals in Sudan have been waging war against each other for more than two weeks now, and the UN offered some stats on Tuesday reflecting the brutal impact on citizens:

  • Refugees: More than 100,000 have fled to neighboring nations already, and the figure is projected to rise to 800,000 by year's end if the fighting doesn't stop, reports the New York Times. In addition to those heading for the border, more than 330,000 have been uprooted from their homes but remain in the country in a new location.

  • Context: Even before this civil war broke out, roughly one-third of the nation's population of about 45 million required humanitarian assistance, per the Washington Post. With the new fighting, things are turning into a "full-blown catastrophe," says UN aid official Abdou Dieng.
  • Hope? The fighting pits Gen. Abdel Fattah Burhan, head of Sudan's military, against Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, who leads a paramilitary group called the Rapid Support Forces. The AP reports that the generals have agreed to send representatives to peace talks, possibly in Saudi Arabia. Promised ceasefires have largely fizzled previously, and these talks, if they happen, would be "significant progress" toward a lasting ceasefire, per the AP.
  • Casualties: So far, more than 500 people have been killed and more than 4,000 wounded, reports the BBC. What's more, hospitals have been attacked, with the World Health Organization logging about two dozen attacks on health care facilities in the capital of Khartoum. "Also, you know some of these hospitals are used as military bases and they have thrown the staff, they have thrown patients out of these health-care facilities," says the WHO's Ahmed al-Mandhari. Several aid agencies also have suspended work amid the fighting.
  • 7 neighbors: Most foreign nationals have been evacuated by now, though such flights continue. Meanwhile, the Times reports that Sudan's seven neighbors—the Central African Republic, Chad, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Libya, and South Sudan—are bracing for a continued influx of Sudanese refugees. Chad in particular has taken in about 30,000 so far, and that's on top of the 400,000 Sudanese refugees who were already there before the fighting broke out.
(More Sudan stories.)

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