According to the UN, more than 2.8 million people have been displaced by the Sudan conflict in the past three months, including over 2.2 million IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons). Approximately 650,000 people have sought refuge in neighbouring countries, including South Sudan, the Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Chad.
International intelligence reports that the Sudanese army is waging its offensive against the paramilitary RSF (Rapid Support Forces) from the sky, aerially bombarding RSF positions in residential areas and inflicting a significant civilian death toll. Meanwhile, the RSF is intentionally driving civilians out of their homes. Reports also indicate that the conflict is now extending to other Militia groups, such as the SPLM-N Hilu, driving towards a horrific scenario of full-scale conflict across the vast country. And the ongoing violence has had a relentless and devastating impact on civilian populations.
Sudan conflict-related IDPs also consistently report that the RSF is attacking makeshift IDP camps, destroying vital civilian infrastructure, and looting homes and hospitals. And the RSF has been accused of widespread sexual violence and so-called ethnic cleansing.
Speaking about the relentless conflict, Paul Westbury, East Africa Regional Security Advisor for GOAL, said: “The scale of this violence is unlike anything Sudan has ever experienced before, and it has created an extremely hostile operating environment for aid agencies. Being a humanitarian worker multiplies the risks already existing in the country, with attacks, harassment and abductions continuing to pose a real threat to our staff who are still in Sudan.”
“With no end to the fighting in sight, the overwhelming humanitarian need in Sudan is growing exponentially each day,” he continued. “Both the Sudanese Armed Forces and the RSF are stealing aid supplies from organisations across the country while restricting humanitarian access and imposing other legal impediments to delay the delivery of humanitarian assistance. Despite these challenges, our staff, which numbers 270 situated in North Darfur and South Kordofan, are working tirelessly to support as many conflict-affected people as possible.”
Speaking about the immense scale of humanitarian need, Jessica Cope, Country Director for GOAL Sudan, said: “2.8 million people have been displaced by this intense conflict, in a country that already has a long history of civil war and the UN estimates that an additional one million people will flee Sudan in the next six months. Entire communities are running for their lives and seeking humanitarian aid to survive. This level of humanitarian need is, therefore, completely unprecedented.
“Despite the enormous need, our teams in Sudan and neighbouring Ethiopia and South Sudan, where GOAL is also operational, are determined to support as many conflict-affected people, with food and nutrition security and healthcare, as effectively as we can. This includes supporting host communities, who require additional emergency support and to ensure that their local services are not overwhelmed by the steady influx of displaced persons and refugees.”