More than 3.1 million people displaced by war in Sudan

(CNN) — More than 3.1 million people have been forced to flee their homes in an increasingly desperate humanitarian context in war-torn Sudan.

Human rights groups warn of widespread ethnic violence, attacks on civilians and widespread sexual violence against women and girls, while warring factions, the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), continue to fight for control of the northeast African country.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) reported on Wednesday that there were more than 2.4 million internally displaced people in Sudan, while 737,801 people crossed the border into neighboring countries.

The number of civilians continues to rise, according to the latest report from the UN Office of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), which indicates that 414,625 people, constituting 483,672 households, have been displaced, an increase of 183,102 people per year. compared to last week.

The number of refugees fleeing to neighboring countries, mainly Egypt, Chad and South Sudan, is also increasing, with an estimated 750,000 civilians having left Sudan entirely.

The World Food Program (WFP) says 20,000 refugees have crossed into Chad in the past week alone, adding that many are “seriously injured” and say they were “deliberately” targeted in a “dimension increasing ethnic violence”.

“We see that they have suffered, many have lost loved ones, and we don’t even dare to ask them: ‘Where are the men?’ The mothers’ response is usually that they were killed, so you only see a lot of women, a lot of children,” said WFP Chad director Pierre Honnorat, describing scenes of despair from the refugee camp. from Zabout to Goz Beida during a call with journalists.

“Many are seriously injured and have heartbreaking stories of the violence they have suffered,” Honorat said, appealing for funding, adding that “the situation is really critical.”

In a statement, the WFP said its “urgent priorities include treating the injured and assisting dangerously malnourished children crossing from Darfur into Chad”.

One in 10 displaced children from Sudan is malnourished, according to the WFP.

Earlier this month, UN officials condemned rising cases of gender-based violence in Sudan, with Save the Children warning of “alarming numbers of adolescents sexually assaulted and raped by armed combatants”.

Martin Griffiths, head of UN aid operations, said it was “inconceivable” that women and children in Sudan would “be further traumatized in this way”. He called Sudan a “crisis of humanity”.

The situation in Darfur, western Sudan, is also said to be “critical” as the UN receives “continuing reports of heavy fighting and attacks on civilians”.

In addition to clashes between the Regional Armed Forces and the Sudanese Armed Forces, the OCHA report also notes an increase in reports of the presence of the Regional Armed Forces and militias from other Darfur states, as well as clashes in North Kordofan and South Kordofan, in an increasingly complex landscape of fighting across Sudan.

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