Sudan civil war one of "worst crisis in decades" as aid organizations sound alarm

Khartoum, Sudan - The ongoing civil war in Sudan has provoked one of the world's worst humanitarian crises in decades, the international chief of the medical charity Doctors Without Borders said Thursday.

The civil war in Sudan is "one of the worst crises the world has seen for decades," Doctors Without Borders chief Christos Christou has said.
The civil war in Sudan is "one of the worst crises the world has seen for decades," Doctors Without Borders chief Christos Christou has said.  © REUTERS

War has raged for more than a year between the regular military under army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces led by his former deputy Mohamed Hamdan Daglo.

"Sudan is one of the worst crises the world has seen for decades... yet the humanitarian response is profoundly inadequate," said Christos Christou, international president of Doctors Without Borders (MSF).

"There are extreme levels of suffering across the country, and the needs are growing by the day," he said in a post on social media platform X.

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The conflict, which began in April 2023, has resulted in tens of thousands of deaths and displaced more than nine million people – the world's worst internal displacement crisis – according to the UN.

Both sides have been accused of war crimes including deliberately targeting civilians, indiscriminate shelling of residential areas, and blocking humanitarian aid, despite warnings that millions are on the brink of starvation.

Rights groups and the US have also accused the paramilitaries of ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.


Millions on the verge of famine in Sudan

Millions of people are facing extreme hunger and thirst amid mass displacement caused by fighting between the Sudanese army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces.
Millions of people are facing extreme hunger and thirst amid mass displacement caused by fighting between the Sudanese army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces.  © via REUTERS

MSF's intervention is the latest in a series of dire warnings over human suffering in Sudan. Last week, as it pledged another $315 million in aid to the country, the US warned of historic famine in the country.

The US ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, told reporters hunger in Sudan could reach levels unseen since the famine in Ethiopia in the early 1980s, when as many as 1.2 million people died.

UN agencies have also repeatedly warned of the catastrophic humanitarian situation in the country, amid repeated international calls for a ceasefire.

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UN estimates say that five million people inside Sudan suffer extreme hunger and thirst, with food and lacking also in neighboring countries, where two million Sudanese have fled.

Repeated efforts to end the conflict have failed, with many observers concluding that the warring generals each think they can win on the ground.

A number of foreign powers have supported rival forces. Sudan expelled diplomats from the United Arab Emirates on allegations of fuelling the RSF, while Egypt, Turkey, and Iran have backed the army.

The UN Security Council on Thursday demanded that the RSF halt the siege, with all countries voting in favor, except Russia, which abstained.

Cover photo: REUTERS

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