The United Nations says hundreds of thousands of malnourished children are at risk of dying in a humanitarian crisis of “epic proportions”.
The United Nations has warned that war and hunger threaten to devastate Sudan, where fighting broke out between rival generals in mid-April.
“The war in Sudan is fueling a humanitarian emergency of epic proportions,” said Martin Griffiths, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, in a statement on Friday.
“Viral conflict – and the hunger, disease and displacement it has left in its wake – now threatens to consume the entire country,” he added, citing specific concerns about the safety of civilians in Gezira state, the country’s breadbasket.
Conservative estimates from the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED) put the death toll at approximately 5,000.
But the fighting has prevented the recovery of the bodies of many others believed dead.
In the four months since the fighting broke out, more than 4.6 million people have been forced to flee their homes, according to UN figures.
“The longer the fighting continues, the more devastating its impact will be.” Some places have already run out of food, Griffiths’ statement said.
“Hundreds of thousands of children suffer from acute malnutrition and face imminent risk of death if left untreated.”
In Kadugli, South Kordofan state, “food stocks have been completely depleted, as clashes and road closures prevent aid workers from reaching the hungry,” the UN official said.
Al-Burhan visits Egypt and Saudi Arabia
War broke out in Sudan in April between Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, who leads the Sudanese army, and Mohamed Hamdan “Hemedti” Dagalo, head of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces.
The daily newspaper “Sudan Tribune” stated that Al-Burhan appeared Thursday outside the Army General Command for the first time since the start of the conflict, after arriving in Port Sudan from the city of Atbara in the River Nile Governorate.
Earlier on Thursday, the Sudanese army published videos of Al-Burhan carrying a weapon and inspecting soldiers in several military areas in Omdurman.
Al-Jazeera’s Heba Marjan, based in the capital, Khartoum, said Al-Burhan will begin a tour of Egypt and Saudi Arabia “to talk about war, prospects for peace and rebuilding the country.”
Morgan said the talks would be important given the military alliance between Egypt and Sudan, and Al-Burhan is expected to speak with President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.
Saudi Arabia has been facilitating indirect talks between the Rapid Support Forces and the Sudanese army since May, in order to reach a ceasefire that would allow humanitarian aid to reach those affected by the conflict.
“This ceasefire has been repeatedly violated and talks have been suspended, with the Sudanese army delegation withdrawing from the Saudi city of Jeddah and returning to Sudan,” Morgan said. “But it is not clear if those talks will resume.”