Tags: sudan humanitarian port un displaced evacuations

UN Humanitarian Chief Arrives in Sudan on Last Day of Truce

UN Humanitarian Chief Arrives in Sudan on Last Day of Truce

Wednesday, 03 May 2023 06:00 AM EDT

PORT SUDAN, Sudan (AP) — The UN's humanitarian chief arrived in Sudan’s main seaport on Wednesday, as thousands of Sudanese and foreign nationals gathered there in hopes of fleeing the conflict-torn east African country.

Martin Griffiths, the under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator at the UN, tweeted that his visit to the city of Port Sudan is to affirm the body's commitment to the Sudanese people.

His arrival came on the last day of a shaky truce, meant to expire at midnight, that has done little to quell the fighting.

It also comes amid increasing concern about the humanitarian situation for those trapped and displaced by the fighting, which is the result of a power struggle between the country's two top generals. But questions remain over how UN agencies can operate with limited staff and supplies.

More than a week after the brutal violence broke out in the country's capital Khartoum of April 15, thousands of UN workers evacuated the city via a land convoy to Port Sudan. Some UN offices' paused their services, such as the World Food Program, after two of its workers were killed in the fighting in the south of Sudan. The WFP has since said it will resume operations.

The battle for control of Sudan erupted after months of escalating tensions between the military, led by Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan, and a rival paramilitary group called the Rapid Support Forces, commanded by Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo.

The conflict has so far killed 550 people, including civilians, and wounded more than 4900. The fighting has displaced at least 334,000 people inside Sudan, and sent tens of thousands more to neighboring countries — Egypt, Chad, South Sudan, the Central African Republic and Ethiopia, according to U.N. agencies.

More than 42,000 Sudanese who fled the war in their country have crossed into Egypt along with 2,300 foreign nationals since the crisis began, according to the U.N. refugee agency.

Aid workers are increasingly concerned about lack of basic services in these areas, and also in Port Sudan, which is located on the Red Sea some 400 kilometers (520 miles) from the capital.

Many western countries have completed evacuations for their citizens from the country, with France, the UK and now the US using Port Sudan as a base for those looking to leave. But citizens of other nations are still struggling to find a way out. An estimated hundreds of Syrians, who came to Sudan fleeing their own country's civil war over the past decade, are among the last foreigners to leave.

Tariq Abdel-Hameed, a Syrian in Port Sudan, said a second Damascus-bound flight with a around 200 Syrians mostly pregnant women and sick people, is scheduled to take off from Port Sudan later Wednesday.

He said the first flight landed in the Syrian capital early Wednesday, with some 200 people, including 21 children, on board. He said more flights are scheduled in the coming days.

On Wednesday, the fighting continued in and around Khartoum. Clouds of smoke were seen over areas of active fighting, and residents-hiding in their homes-still heard sounds of explosions, with the battles still seemingly centred around key government buildings, such as the presidential palace.

There were increasing signs of lawlessness in many of the city's neighbourhoods, with reports that more diplomatic facilities were being targeted. Armed men stormed the building housing the office of Saudi Arabia’s cultural attaché in Sudan, the kingdom said Wednesday.

A statement on the state-run Saudi Press Agency said an armed group “destroyed equipment and cameras, seized some of attaché‘s property and disrupted the attaché’s systems and servers.”

—-

El-Hennawy reported from Cairo, Egypt. Jon Gambrell contributed to this report from Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.


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- The UN's humanitarian chief arrived in Sudan's main seaport on Wednesday, as thousands of Sudanese and foreign nationals gathered there in hopes of fleeing the conflict-torn east African country. Martin Griffiths, the under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs and...
sudan humanitarian port un displaced evacuations
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2023-00-03
Wednesday, 03 May 2023 06:00 AM
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