More than one in two Sudanese needs humanitarian aid, the UN said on Wednesday, after more than a month of war between the army and paramilitaries that international diplomatic efforts have failed to end.
On Wednesday, the fighting again shook the houses of several districts of Khartoum, the capital with deserted streets, from which rose thick black smoke.
After a month of fighting that left nearly a thousand dead, around 750,000 displaced and 220,000 refugees, the UN has increased its appeals for funds, indicating that it needs 2.6 billion dollars for the aid to Sudan.
“Today, 25 million people — more than half of Sudan’s population — are in need of humanitarian assistance and protection,” said UN Humanitarian Affairs chief Ramesh Rajasingham.
Added to this is almost half a billion dollars to help refugees who have fled to neighboring countries.
These refugees will number more than a million in total this year, the UN predicts.
” Anything “
Before the war launched on April 15 between the army of General Abdel Fattah al-Burhane and the paramilitaries of the Rapid Support Forces (FSR), of General Mohamed Hamdane Daglo, already one in three people suffered from hunger in this country of 45 millions of inhabitants.
Today, food is becoming increasingly scarce. In Khartoum, a city of five million people, those who did not flee are holed up in their homes, forced to ration and run out of money as banks are closed.
The food industry, already on its knees after 20 years of embargo under the dictatorship of Omar al-Bashir, which ended in 2019, is bombarded like homes, hospitals and institutions in Khartoum and other cities.
The Samil factory, which produced “60% of nutritional treatments for children with serious nutritional deficiencies”, according to UNICEF, went up in smoke.
Humanitarian aid has been looted. Doctors Without Borders announced that “armed men entered (its) warehouse in Khartoum on Tuesday to loot” at least “two vehicles full of supplies”.
Despite the chaos that reigns in Khartoum and especially in the Darfur region, bordering Chad, where tribal fighters and armed civilians are involved in the fighting, negotiations for a humanitarian truce seem to be going nowhere.
“We have to tell these generals to stop this nonsense”, enraged Kenyan President William Ruto.
On Wednesday, the official Sudanese agency broadcast for the first time a video of General Burhane in the midst of jubilant soldiers in front of a charred building of the army headquarters in Khartoum.
Gathered in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, the representatives of the belligerents are supposed to draw humanitarian corridors to let civilians out and help in, without progress.
“How to force them? »
Yet, argues Michael Dunford, Regional Director of the World Food Program (WFP), “it is vital that humanitarians have access, resources and security guarantees to effectively support those who depend on them to survive”.
Also in Jeddah, where an Arab League summit is being held on Friday, the heads of Egyptian and Saudi diplomacy as well as the boss of the Arab League said they were in favor of a ceasefire, but without proposing the terms. outlines.
Arab countries are deeply divided over Sudan: Egypt is allied with General Burhane, the United Arab Emirates with General Daglo and Riyadh maintains ties with both camps.
Diplomatic efforts are nevertheless increasing because neighboring countries fear a contagion. But, warns the Rift Valley Institute, “it is difficult to imagine how the two generals can be forced to cease the violence”.
The two, who became rivals after leading the October 2021 putsch together, “see the existence of the other as a threat”, says the research center in a report.
Behind this war, explain the experts, there is also competition between populations that historically monopolize power and resources, and the most marginalized components of this ethnic mosaic.
“If the conflict continues, there will be more and more risks that external actors will be involved”, adds the Rift Valley Institute, while already, Sudan and its gold mines have become a coveted destination for mercenaries and foreign fighters.