As Wars Rage, This 'Living Nightmare' Is Largely Ignored

Sudan civil war has killed thousands, forced 8M from their homes
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 5, 2024 3:11 PM CST
This 'Epic' Humanitarian Crisis Goes Largely Ignored
Sudanese refugees gather outside a field hospital in Chad on Aug. 15.   (AP Photo, File)

With much attention on wars in Europe, the victims of Sudan's civil war are facing death and destruction largely without help. Eleven months after fighting between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) paramilitary group broke out on the streets of the nation's capital, Khartoum, more than 13,000 people have been killed—a figure experts say is likely an undercount—and more than 8 million displaced, Vox reports. That makes Sudan "the largest displacement crisis globally," according to Peter Graaff, the World Health Organization's representative to Sudan. UNICEF calls it the "world's largest internal displacement crisis for children," with nearly 3 million minors forced from their homes.

"Sudan has become a living nightmare," United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk said in a Friday speech, describing reports of ethnically motivated killings, arbitrary detentions and torture, and sexual violence well beyond Khartoum. He accused both sides of recruiting children as fighters. He described other abuses, including "the apparently deliberate denial of safe and unimpeded access for humanitarian agencies within Sudan," which "may amount to a war crime." Both sides block humanitarian aid from reaching those it's intended for, Sudanese activist Niemat Ahmadi tells ABC News. Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan's SAF has recently said it will suspend the delivery of humanitarian aid from Chad into RSF-controlled areas, per Vox.

Almost half of Sudan's population, some 25 million people, are in need of humanitarian assistance. Some 18 million people are already facing acute hunger, with 5 million "at emergency levels of hunger," Graaff said in his briefing last month, warning that "a humanitarian crisis of epic proportions" was unfolding. Turk noted "less than 4% of Sudan's Humanitarian Response Plan has so far been funded, which seriously affects the ability of humanitarian agencies to respond to this crisis." "Without delay, the international community must refocus its attention on this deplorable crisis before it descends even further into chaos," Turk continued. "The future of the people of Sudan depends on it." (More Sudan stories.)

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