Sudan crisis 'spiralling out of control' as more than one million flee country

Medical supplies are scarce, UN warns, with most hospitals out of service

Chadian cart owners transport belongings of Sudanese people who fled the conflict in Sudan's Darfur region. Reuters
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The four-month war in Sudan has forced one million people to flee the country, the UN said on Tuesday, warning that the situation is spiralling out of control.

“Time is running out for farmers to plant the crops that will feed them and their neighbours. Medical supplies are scarce. The situation is spiralling out of control,” UN agencies said.

The conflict, sparked by fighting between the Sudanese army and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) paramilitary, a total of 1,017,449 people have fled into neighbouring countries, IOM said on Tuesday.

More than three million others are internally displaced, it added.

Fighting erupted in mid-April and has devastated swathes of the country, which remains largely without electricity since a blackout began on Sunday.

In the capital of Khartoum, 90 per cent of hospitals are out of service and only five remain open in Omdurman, doctors have told The National.

Sexual violence is rampant in Sudan and is being committed on a “sickening scale,” the UN said last week.

In a speech on Monday, army chief General Abdel Fattah Al Burhan accused the RSF of aiming “to take the country back to an era before the modern state” and “committing every crime that can be imagined”.

The RSF has accused the army of trying to seize full power under the direction of loyalists of Omar Al Bashir, the autocratic leader who was toppled during a popular uprising in 2019.

Multiple attempts to broker a lasting ceasefire have failed, despite efforts from the US and Saudi Arabia.

The conflict has also sparked tribal violence in Sudan's South Darfur state, where clashes between a tribe supporting the RSF and one refusing to take sides in the conflict have killed at least 120 people.

Hundreds more have been injured, while RSF fighters have stormed and looted homes in Nyala, according to officials.

Updated: August 15, 2023, 7:20 PM