Khartoum [Sudan], May 25: The number of people displaced inside Sudan by fighting between rival military factions has risen to more than 1 million, according to the UN's International Organization for Migration (IOM).
The IOM said another 319,000 people have fled to neighbouring countries. Egypt, Sudan's northern neighbour, took in the largest share of the refugees, with more than 132,000 people.
According to the IOM, Chad took in some 80,000 refugees and South Sudan about 69,000.
A long-simmering power struggle in Sudan escalated violently on April 15. The army under the command of de-facto president Abdel Fattah al-Burhan is fighting the paramilitary units of his deputy, Mohammed HamdanDaglo.
The two generals jointly seized power in 2021.
Even before the current crisis, Sudan was one of the poorest and politically unstable countries in the world with 3.7 million internally displaced people due to previous crises.
Now, the IOM warns of a further deterioration of the humanitarian situation in the country with a total population of around 46 million. The fighting is making access to basic goods and fuel increasingly difficult.
Clashes continued overnight in Sudan on the second day of a weeklong truce agreed between rival military factions to allow for the delivery of much-needed humanitarian aid into the devastated country.
Residents in Omdurman, one of the three cities around the confluence of the Blue Nile and White Nile rivers that make up Sudan's greater capital, told Reuters news agency that exchanges of fire and the sound of heavy artillery could be heard late on Tuesday.
The ceasefire, which comes after five weeks of intensive warfare in the capital Khartoum and other areas, including the western region of Darfur, is being monitored by Saudi Arabia and the United States.
Although the ceasefire brought a relative lull in fighting in Khartoum on Wednesday, aid workers told Reuters that the delivery of humanitarian aid remained slow, with many staff arriving at Port Sudan on the Red Sea coast and waiting for their security permits.
Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres, or MSF) said violence, looting and administrative and logistical challenges had continually hampered efforts to increase its activities.
In a statement on Tuesday, MSF said: "[S]taff and patients are repeatedly facing the trauma of armed groups entering and looting MSF premises, with medicines, supplies and vehicles being stolen."
"This shocking disregard for humanitarian principles and international humanitarian law has impeded our ability to provide healthcare to people at a time when it is desperately needed," it added.
Source: Qatar Tribune