Sudan Clashes: The United Nations appeals to the world to provide three billion dollars to fund humanitarian aid

May 17, 2023, 09:45 GMT

Last updated 53 minutes ago

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The recent truce did not provide protection for civilians in Sudan

The United Nations confirmed that its priority now is to secure a cease-fire in Sudan, and that it has begun to communicate with both sides of the conflict.

The organization’s envoy to Sudan, Volker Pierce, said he was “in contact with the leaders of the two warring parties” with the aim of securing a ceasefire.

“We are in contact with the leaders of both sides of the conflict, and at the same time with the parties of civil society, from across the political spectrum, because they will be pivotal to supervising any cease-fire in the event of a truce,” Peres added.

At the same time, the United Nations appealed to the countries of the world to provide three billion dollars to finance humanitarian operations in Sudan, and neighboring countries that are sheltering refugees fleeing the conflict there.

Meanwhile, the regional director of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Patrick Youssef, told the BBC that the truce signed by the warring parties last week, aimed at protecting civilians, had already failed.

Youssef said that the truce was designed with the aim of providing a safe passage for civilians to leave the places of clashes, and to stop their use as human shields during the battles, “but it did not make any noticeable difference.”

Youssef stressed that the reopening of Khartoum International Airport, to receive international aid, to help civilians, would be “a very positive thing and change the rules of the game.”

Hundreds of thousands of Sudanese have been displaced by fighting that began last month in the country between the army and the rival Rapid Support Forces, adding to existing needs.

Even if the necessary funds can be raised, the international organization says, there is concern about the significant challenge posed by the country’s aid agencies’ access to those in need. There have been earlier reports of supplies being looted and aid workers being attacked.

The fighting in Sudan continues without stopping, and this has led to the flight of about a million people from their homes.

Hospitals in the capital, Khartoum, have been attacked and destroyed, street fighting is taking place, water and electricity have been cut off, and civilians have been bombed.

There are reports of human rights violations, including summary executions or trials, and cases of sexual violence.

What did the United Nations say?

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A senior United Nations official said Wednesday that the United Nations Humanitarian Response Plan is seeking $2.56 billion to help those affected by the crisis in Sudan.

He added that “today there are 25 million people, or more than half of the population of Sudan, in need of humanitarian assistance and protection.”

“This is the highest number we have ever seen in the country,” said Ramesh Rajasingham, head of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Geneva and director of the Coordination Section.

The international organization said in a review of the response plan for Sudan, which was issued after the outbreak of the current conflict on April 15, that $ 2.56 billion is required to provide assistance inside Sudan, and this amount exceeds what was estimated a few months ago, which is only $ 1.75 billion, and 470.4 billion dollars will be needed. Another million dollars to help those who have fled the country.

Qatari aid

On Tuesday, the sixth Qatari humanitarian aid plane landed in Port Sudan.

The plane was carrying about 35 tons of medical equipment and supplies, including medicines, solutions and blood bags.

Ibrahim Al-Nasser, an official in the Sudanese Ministry of Health, said: “This plane carries the necessary aid for surgical operations, in light of the current situation in Sudan.”

What caused the conflict?

Since last month, Sudan has been witnessing fierce fighting between the army and paramilitary forces in a struggle for power, 18 months after a military coup that struck efforts and hopes for a transition to civilian rule.

The violent rivalry between the army commander, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, and his deputy, who turned into his opponent, Muhammad Hamdan Dagalo, who leads the Rapid Support Forces, has led to the deaths of hundreds of people and the displacement of nearly a million people.

Days after the second delay in signing a final agreement on a return to civilian rule, due to a dispute over the integration of the Rapid Support Forces into the regular army, explosions rocked the capital, Khartoum, on April 15. Both paramilitaries and the army blame each other for starting the attack.

A relief vehicle.

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The United Nations says: If the necessary funds can be raised, there is concern about the great challenge posed by aid agencies in the country reaching those in need.

The Rapid Support Forces say they control Khartoum airport, the presidential palace and other key locations.

The army, which says it has carried out air strikes on RSF bases, insists it still holds power.

Fighting broke out in the western region of Darfur, which is still reeling from the consequences of a violent war that began in 2003, when three employees of the United Nations World Food Program were killed.

Sudan’s civilian leaders are calling for an immediate ceasefire, as have the African Union, the United Nations, the United States, Britain, and other countries.

In the days following the start of the fighting, the countries of the world rushed to prepare to evacuate their nationals and the nationals of other countries.

Then, in the first week of May, US-Saudi-backed talks between the military and the Rapid Support Forces began in the Saudi port city of Jeddah, but they have not yet resulted in a ceasefire, more than a week after they began.

The two sides then agreed to allow urgently needed humanitarian aid to reach war-affected areas, with a commitment to “ensure the protection of civilians”.

The United Nations said on May 12 that the conflict had caused 200,000 people to flee the country, bringing the total number of displaced people to nearly one million.