Published: 11:17, April 15, 2024 | Updated: 12:05, April 15, 2024
Year of Sudan war: Thousands killed, millions displaced amid imminent famine
By Xinhua
Sudanese refugees and South Sudanese returnees who have fled from the war in Sudan stand on a truck arriving at a Transit Centre for refugees in Renk, on Feb 13, 2024. (PHOTO / AFP) 

KHARTOUM - The deadly war in Sudan, leaving thousands of people dead and millions of others displaced, is entering its second year amid repeated warnings of an imminent famine threatening to kill those who escaped death from bullets.

Since the conflict between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces broke out on April 15, 2023, 14,790 fatalities have been recorded, while the number of people displaced inside and outside of Sudan has reached 8.2 million, a report by United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs showed Sunday.

According to the UN, half of Sudan's population - some 25 million people - need humanitarian assistance and protection, with nearly 18 million people facing acute food insecurity

"It's beyond time for this devastating war to stop," a UN fact-finding Mission said on Thursday, urging the warring parties to commit to an immediate ceasefire, end attacks on civilians, and ensure unimpeded access to humanitarian assistance for millions of people in desperate need of aid.

"Sudan's warring parties are legally obligated to protect civilians, but they have shown little regard for doing so," said Mohamed Chande Othman, chair of the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission for the Sudan.

"We are now investigating alarming reports of repeated attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure, including hospitals and schools," he added.

A picture taken on March 20, 2024, shows children who fled Khartoum and Jazira states in war-torn Sudan standing near tents at a camp for the internally displaced in southern Gadaref state. (PHOTO / AFP) 

Starvation is looming as fighting rages on in Sudan.

The Food and Agriculture Organization has warned of a worsening food security crisis in Sudan, urging warring parties to halt hostilities and allow for the access of humanitarian aid.

"The food and nutrition security in Sudan is very dire," Adam Yao, FAO deputy representative in Sudan, said in a recent interview with Xinhua. "Immediate assistance is required."

Similarly, the United Nations World Food Program said on Friday that Sudan's hunger crisis will worsen unless its people receive a constant flow of aid via all possible humanitarian corridors.

A Sudanese girl who have fled from the war in Sudan gets her iris scanned using a biometric registration machine at a Transit Centre for refugees in Renk, on Feb 13, 2024. (PHOTO / AFP) 

"I fear that we will see unprecedented levels of starvation and malnutrition sweep across Sudan in this lean season," said Eddie Rowe, WFP representative and country director in Sudan.

According to the UN, half of Sudan's population - some 25 million people - need humanitarian assistance and protection, with nearly 18 million people facing acute food insecurity.

However, the war so far shows no sign of ending, as none of the warring parties seems to be willing to silence the sounds of bullets or sit to the negotiation table.

Sudanese refugees who have fled from the war in Sudan line up during a cash assistance programme at a Transit Centre for refugees in Renk, on Feb 15, 2024. (PHOTO / AFP) 

In a speech on the eve of Eid al-Fitr, SAF's General Commander Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan stressed that the war would continue until the RSF is "eliminated."

Meanwhile, the RSF Commander Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, also in a speech on the Eid al-Fitr occasion, said the only option was "to achieve victory" and congratulated his forces on what he said were "great victories" in central Sudan's Gezira and Sinnar states.

The Coordination of Civilian Democratic Forces (Taqaddum), a Sudanese political coalition led by former Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, condemned what it called "the escalatory message" by the army and RSF leaders, which showed "the lack of desire of both parties for any political settlement."

Sudanese refugees and ethnic South Sudanese families who have fled from the war in Sudan line up while waiting to board a truck to go to a Transit Centre for refugees after crossing the border at the Joda Border Crossing Point, near Renk, on Feb 14, 2024. (PHOTO / AFP) 

"This embodies the underestimation of the extent of the tragedy the Sudanese people are suffering due to the war," Bakri El Jak, Tagaddum's spokesman, said in a statement. "It is not possible for any party to win this war."

Khalid Omer Yousif, a leading figure in the Sudanese Congress Party, said that Al-Burhan and Dagalo, with their speeches, have smashed the hope for peaceful solutions.

"Ending the war is not possible unless there is will on the part of the warring parties, which so far is not present," he said on the social media platform X.

Graphic showing the change in the percentage of the Sudanese population suffering from different levels of food insecurity (IPC) over comparable periods of time during the last three years. (GRAPHIC / AFP) 
Graphic showing the number of internally displaced people in Sudan over time since the start of the conflict on April 15, 2023. (GRAPHIC / AFP)