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UN: Sudan situation is spiraling

Sudanese who fled the conflict in Sudan's Darfur region, cross the border between Sudan and Chad.

Sudanese who fled the conflict in Sudan's Darfur region, cross the border between Sudan and Chad.


Four months after conflict broke out between rival factions in Sudan, the UN warned this week that the situation is spiraling out of control.

The grim statistics: At least 1 million people – roughly the population of Austin, Texas – have fled to neighboring countries, while over 3 million remain displaced inside Sudan, according to UN data.

At least 380,000 Sudanese have fled to Chad, where they languish in refugee camps, while many others have sought refuge in South Sudan, the Central African Republic, Egypt, Ethiopia, and Libya – all of which are grappling with their own domestic crises.

The UN now warns that, amid the fighting, medical supplies are scarce and that 100,000 Sudanese women due to give birth in the next 12 weeks may not have access to healthcare facilities.

Recap: Who is fighting whom again? On one side is Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan, the country's army chief and de facto leader since 2021. That was when the military took over in a violent coup, overthrowing a joint civilian-military government. On the other side is Burhan’s former ally and junta deputy Gen. Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo, known as Hemedti, who is head of the Rapid Support Forces, a militia that grew out of the Janjaweed death squads that committed genocide in Darfur.

The two sides met in Togo last month for negotiations that yielded no breakthroughs.

The US, EU, Russia, African Union, and Gulf states all have competing interests in resource-rich Sudan (more on that here), which has further complicated mediation efforts. As time goes on and fighting spreads throughout the country – most notably in Darfur – Sudan is developing the hallmarks of a protracted conflict.

Speaking to GZERO Media as the US took over the presidency of the UN Security Council earlier this month, US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield said that the situation in Sudan will be a top priority. Watch the clip here.


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