Sudanese people flee their city carrying possession on their heads down a dirt path

The Sudanese conflict is creating another generation of refugees struggling to find shelter in neighboring countries.

The conflict in Sudan has been centered in urban areas, as shown in this map locating incidents of violence from April 15 to May 19, 2023.

The conflict in Sudan has been centered in urban areas, as shown in this map locating incidents of violence from April 15 to May 19, 2023.

By: Kathleen M. Carroll

Sudan teeters on the edge of an all-out war, according to the United Nations, following a deadly airstrike in mid-July that claimed the lives of dozens of people in Omdurman, a city in Sudan. The country’s health ministry reported that at least 22 individuals were killed, with numerous others sustaining injuries. The ongoing infighting between Sudan’s rival military forces has led to months of violence across the nation.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed grave concern over the weekend bombing, stating that it indicated Sudan’s proximity to “the brink of a full-scale civil war.” Guterres’s office released a statement condemning the airstrike and emphasizing the potential destabilization of the entire region. The Secretary-General was appalled by the reports of widespread violence and casualties in Darfur, expressing further worry about renewed clashes in heavily impacted Sudanese states, which have resulted in significant civilian displacement.

The statement from Guterres’s office criticized the dangerous and disturbing disregard for humanitarian and human rights laws demonstrated in Sudan. The Secretary-General called upon the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), the two warring factions vying for control in the country, to immediately cease hostilities.

The RSF attributed the July airstrike to the SAF, labeling it the most severe aerial attack on innocent civilians. The RSF claimed a death toll of 31. Fierce fighting erupted between the rival groups in April, resulting in hundreds of deaths and thousands of injuries.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) data indicates that nearly 2.8 million people have fled Sudan, often without passports, seeking refuge in neighboring countries such as Egypt, Ethiopia, and Libya. The humanitarian and refugee crisis continues to worsen as violence escalates in Sudan.

As the situation deteriorates, the international community faces the daunting task of averting a full-scale civil war and addressing the urgent humanitarian needs of the Sudanese people. The UN and other concerned parties are called upon to take immediate action to prevent further loss of life and bring stability to the region.

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