Sudan conflict has forced two million children out of their homes, UN says

At least 700 youths are displaced every hour, says Unicef

Sudanese children cross the border into Chad in early August. Reuters
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The Sudan conflict has forced at least two million children out of their homes, with an average of more than 700 children displaced every hour.

About 1.7 million children have been displaced while more than 470,000 have crossed into neighbouring countries since fighting between the army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces began in April, the UN children's agency said.

“With over two million children uprooted by the conflict in only a few months and countless more trapped in its merciless grip, the urgency of our collective response cannot be overstated,” said Mandeep O’Brien, Unicef's country representative in Sudan.

“We are hearing unimaginable stories from children and families, some of whom lost everything and had to watch their loved ones die in front of their eyes. We said it before, and we are saying it again: We need peace now for children to survive.”

About 14 million children are in urgent need of humanitarian support, many facing numerous threats and terrifying experiences every day, Unicef said.

The war between military chief Gen Abdel Fattah Al Burhan and RSF commander Gen Mohamed Dagalo erupted on April 15.

About 5,000 people have been killed since then, according to conservative estimates from the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data project, with most bodies yet to be recovered.

On Tuesday night, UN co-ordinator for humanitarian affairs Martin Griffiths again pleaded for both parties to stop fighting so that aid could get through.

Unicef called on all “parties involved in the conflict to prioritise the safety and well-being of children, ensure their protection and enable unimpeded humanitarian access to affected areas”.

“Life-saving humanitarian support must be provided without delay to protect and safeguard the rights of millions of vulnerable children,” the agency said.

Apart from conflict hotspots such as Darfur and Khartoum, the fighting has now spread to other populated areas, including south and west Kordofan, limiting aid delivery and access to life-saving services for those in urgent need, Unicef said.

Updated: August 25, 2023, 4:05 AM