The escalating conflict in Sudan has resulted in the displacement of over 4 million people from their homes, as reported by the UN. Ongoing military operations in Omdurman were confirmed on August 8, with the Sudanese army intensifying its efforts to advance into the capital.
One of the most distressing regions affected is Darfur in western Sudan, where some of the most severe instances of violence in the conflict have occurred. Martha Ama Akyaa Pobee, who briefed the Security Council on the situation in Sudan, expressed deep concern that the ongoing fighting in Darfur is rekindling old wounds of ethnic tension and past conflicts.
The brutal violence witnessed in El-Geneina and Sirba serves as stark examples of this volatile situation. Pobee warned that this situation could swiftly escalate into a prolonged ethnic conflict with potential regional repercussions. She called for an urgent return to negotiations.
The United States, currently presiding over the Security Council, urged all parties involved to lay down their weapons in the face of this dire situation.
Humanitarian Crisis Looms
Edem Wosornu, Director of Operations and Advocacy at the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, also addressed the Council, highlighting the gravity of the situation in Khartoum, Darfur, and the Kordofan regions. She emphasized that 80% of hospitals across Sudan are non-functional and that a staggering 14 million children – half of all children in the country – require humanitarian assistance.
Wosornu expressed extreme alarm over reports of ethnic-based violence in West Darfur, resulting in numerous civilian casualties. The ongoing intense fighting and challenging operational environment are severely hampering the delivery of urgently needed humanitarian aid, exacerbating the suffering of the affected population. Wosornu stressed the vital necessity for unhindered humanitarian access to those in need.
Khartoum Struggles for Assistance
In Khartoum, where accessing those in need remains exceedingly difficult, some assistance is being provided using limited local resources. However, Wosornu revealed that since late June, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has been unable to secure passage for a humanitarian convoy to replenish these dwindling supplies.
Sudan’s Chaotic Situation
Sudan descended into turmoil in April when long-simmering tensions between the military leadership and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) erupted into open conflict. Sudan’s ambassador to the United Nations, Al-Harith Idriss Mohamed, responded to allegations of aid obstruction by emphasizing Sudan’s commitment to sovereignty and its voice in the process. He commended the efforts of the League of Arab States and Egypt for safeguarding Sudan’s sovereignty, calling on the international community, the United Nations, and major powers to support Sudan against external-backed aggression. He emphasized the need for an immediate and lasting ceasefire, a new political process, and a national government leading toward democracy through fair elections.
The meeting was convened at the behest of Britain.