The UN Says the Sudanese People Are Trapped in an “inferno of Brutal Violence” as Famine and Fighting Increase - Latest Global News

The UN Says the Sudanese People Are Trapped in an “inferno of Brutal Violence” as Famine and Fighting Increase

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The Sudanese people “are trapped in an inferno of brutal violence,” with famine, disease and fighting drawing closer and no end in sight, the top U.N. humanitarian official in the war-ravaged country said Wednesday.

Clementine Nkweta-Salami told a UN news conference that “horrific atrocities are being committed with reckless abandon, reports of rape, torture and ethnically-motivated violence are pouring in,” communities and families have been torn apart and nearly 9 million people have been forced into violence in the largest displacement crisis to date the world fleeing their homeland.

Earlier this month, the UN food agency warned Sudan’s warring parties that there was a serious risk of widespread starvation and death in Darfur and elsewhere in Sudan if they did not allow humanitarian aid into the vast western region – a view echoed on Wednesday by Nkweta was confirmed. Salami.

Sudan descended into conflict in mid-April 2023 when long-simmering tensions between its military, led by General Abdel Fattah Burhan, and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, commanded by Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo, erupted in street battles in the capital, Khartoum. Fighting has spread to other parts of the country, particularly urban areas and the vast western Darfur region, and over 14,000 people have been killed and 33,000 injured, according to the United Nations.

The paramilitary forces known as the RSF have seized control of most of Darfur and are laying siege to the key city of El Fasher, the capital of North Darfur and the only capital they do not hold.

Nkweta-Salami told a U.N. news conference that hostilities in El Fasher had escalated, with clashes over the weekend and earlier this week leaving dozens dead and displacing many more of the 800,000 people still in the city.

She said there are just six weeks until the start of the “stomach season,” when food becomes less available and more expensive. It also coincides with the rainy season, when it is very difficult to reach people because flooded roads become impassable, and the end of the planting season, when the UN needs to provide seeds to farmers, she said.

The UN humanitarian coordinator in Sudan called for “more resources and quickly”.

On April 15, donors pledged $2.1 billion in humanitarian assistance to Sudan, but Nkweta-Salami said the U.N.’s $2.7 billion humanitarian appeal, which came almost in its 15th year, was insufficient Millions of the 58 million people in the country are only 12% funded.

“Without more resources, we will not be able to prevent famine and further deprivation in a timely manner,” she warned.

Leni Kinzli, regional spokesperson for the U.N. World Food Program, said May 3 that at least 1.7 million people in Darfur, Sudan, were suffering from famine in December and that the number is now expected to be “much higher.”

“People resort to eating grass and peanut shells,” Kinzli said. “And if aid does not reach them soon, there is a risk of widespread starvation and death in Darfur and other conflict-affected areas in Sudan.”

Nkweta-Salami called for full access to the millions in need and pushed for more aid from Chad, which borders Darfur, and across conflict lines.

She said food, water and medicine were urgently needed in El Fasher, which was now completely surrounded. As an example of the difficulties facing the United Nations and other aid agencies, she said a U.N. convoy with more than a dozen trucks carrying vital supplies for 120,000 people left Port Sudan, El Fasher, on April 3 However, due to uncertainty and checkpoints still not reached and delays in issuing permits.

Nkweta-Salami called on the parties fighting in and around El Fasher to take a step back to prevent “catastrophic effects on the civilian population.”

“And above all, we need more commitment to end this war” and hold the parties to the conflict accountable, she said. “The international community cannot stand by and allow this crisis to spiral out of control – while the noose of this conflict tightens its stranglehold on civilians.”

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