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UN Relief Chief Urges Swift Action to End Sudan’s Destructive Conflict in 2024

In Sudan, nearly nine months of war has pushed the country into a deepening cycle of destruction. As the conflict continues to spread, the suffering of the people intensifies, access for humanitarian aid decreases, and hope diminishes. This cannot go on.

It is essential for the international community, especially those who have influence over the conflicting parties in Sudan, to take immediate and decisive action in 2024 to put an end to the fighting and protect the humanitarian operations that are meant to assist millions of civilians.

The situation has become even more critical as the fighting has reached Aj Jazirah State, known as the country’s breadbasket. Over 500,000 people have fled the violence in and around the state capital, Wad Medani. This area has been a place of refuge for those displaced by conflicts in other areas. The ongoing mass displacement could lead to the rapid spread of a cholera outbreak in the state, with over 1,800 suspected cases reported so far.

The same atrocities that have characterized the war in other regions of Sudan – Khartoum, Darfur, and Kordofan – are now being reported in Wad Medani. Reports of widespread human rights violations, including sexual violence, serve as a reminder that the conflicting parties are failing to uphold their commitment to protect civilians.

There are also serious concerns about the parties’ compliance with international humanitarian law. The fighting in Wad Medani, along with the looting of humanitarian warehouses and supplies, is a significant setback for efforts to deliver essential aid such as food, water, and healthcare. The looting of humanitarian supplies undermines our ability to save lives, and must be strongly condemned.

Across Sudan, nearly 25 million people will require humanitarian assistance in 2024. However, the intensifying hostilities are making it increasingly difficult to reach most of them. The delivery of aid across conflict lines has come to a stop, and efforts to deliver aid to other areas are also under threat.

The escalating violence in Sudan is also a threat to regional stability. The war has led to the largest displacement crisis in the world, uprooting the lives of over 7 million people, with 1.4 million crossing into neighboring countries that already have large refugee populations.

For the people of Sudan, 2023 was a year of immense suffering. In 2024, the conflicting parties must take three immediate actions: protect civilians, facilitate humanitarian access, and stop the fighting.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA).

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