More than 800,000 may flee Sudan violence, warns UN

More than 800,000 people may flee Sudan as a result of the fighting between rival military factions, a UN official said on Monday, including many who are already living there as refugees.

“Without a quick resolution of this crisis we will continue to see more people forced to flee in search of safety and basic assistance,” Raouf Mazou told a member states briefing in Geneva.

“In consultation with all concerned governments and partners we’ve arrived at a planning figure of 815,000 people that may flee into the seven neighboring countries,” he added. He said the estimate includes around 580,000 Sudanese, while the others are existing refugees living temporarily in the country.

So far, he said some 73,000 people have already fled to Sudan’s seven neighbors: South Sudan, Chad, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Central African Republic and Libya.

At the same briefing, the United Nations humanitarian coordinator in Sudan warned that the humanitarian crisis in the country was turning into a “full blown catastrophe” and that the risk of spillover into neighboring countries was worrisome.

“It has been more than two weeks of devastating fighting in Sudan, a conflict that is turning Sudan humanitarian crisis into a full-blown catastrophe,” Abdou Dieng, Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in the country, said via video link.

“The regional spillover effect of the crisis is a serious concern,” he said.