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Sudan: Unless ‘Guns Are Silenced’, ‘Exodus of People to Continue’, UN Official Warns

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees was in Nairobi Kenya on World Refugee Day.

During a press conference on Tuesday (June 20), Filippo Grandi deplored the consequences of the conflict in Sudan which has forced half a million refugees to flee Sudan. Another two million are internally displaced.

“It’s a worrying situation because we haven’t seen much progress so far, if any, in the negotiations between the two generals who are fighting in the country’, he later said during an interview.” 

“We are unfortunately gradually witnessing the destruction of this country.”

Grandi was speaking a day after donors at a UN conference pledged close to $1.5 billion to tackle the humanitarian crisis in Sudan and help its neighbours host those fleeing the fighting — including Chad, South Sudan and Egypt.

That figure was however less than half of what humanitarians have said is required this year and Grandi appealed to the international community to dig deeper, saying donations were a fraction of defence spending by rich nations.

“I’m not saying that military spending isn’t necessary, that’s not my field and I understand the logic, but humanitarian aid is a tiny, tiny fraction of all that.

“I can’t believe that we can’t make a bit more of an effort,” he said, urging Gulf states in particular to do more.

The head of the UN’s refugee agency urged Sudan’s neighbours to keep their borders open despite security worries. 

”My appeal to all the neighbouring countries is the following: ‘I understand your security concerns, but please keep your borders open, because these people are really fleeing for their lives.'”

The Egyptian foreign ministry cited early June a crackdown on “illegal activities” including fraud to justify why it would reverse a visa exemption for children, women and elderly people. 

All citizens of neighbouring Sudan will now have to obtain visas before crossing the border.

Sudan has been riven by conflict since April 15, with the army led by Abdel Fattah al-Burhan battling the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) commanded by his former deputy, Mohamed Hamdan Daglo.

The death toll in Sudan has risen above 2,000, according to the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project’s latest figures.

Filippo Grandi observed World Refugee Day in Kenya with President WilliamsRuto to “support his government’s efforts to turn camps into integrated settlements, a pioneering approach to the protection and inclusion of refugees — and in recognition of Africa’s hospitality to those who flee,” the official tweeted.

Source : Africanews