At least 47,000 Sudanese refugees have fled to Egypt: UNHCR
Cairo, May 4 (EFE).- At least 47,000 Sudanese refugees have crossed into neighboring Egypt since a deadly conflict broke out last month in the African country, making the Arab nation host to the largest refugee influx triggered by the Sudan crisis, the United Nations refugee agency said Thursday
“As of May 3, more than 50,000 people had crossed into Egypt, including 47,000 Sudanese and 3,500 third-country nationals,” the Egypt spokesperson for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Christine Beshay, told EFE citing Egyptian foreign ministry figures.
She said UN officials were present at the border to receive and help the refugees, arriving in Egypt to flee the conflict that broke out between the Sudanese military and powerful paramilitary group Rapid Support Forces on Apr. 15.
The fighting in Sudan has already killed at least 550 people, according to official data.
Beshay said the UNHCR is coordinating humanitarian efforts with other partners including the Egyptian Red Crescent “to respond to the dire needs of those arriving” and to prepare for the arrival of more refugees.
According to the UN, at least 100,000 people have so far fled from Sudan to neighboring countries with Egypt and Chad receiving the highest number of refugees.
The UNHCR estimates the the conflict, which has triggered a humanitarian catastrophe in Sudan, could force up to 800,000 people to take refuge overseas.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres on Wednesday called for safe and unhindered humanitarian access in Sudan, as warring parties in the past week repeatedly violated a humanitarian truce, having violated earlier ceasefires too.
Even though a seven-day truce – the longest since the launch of the hostilities – was set to begin on Thursday – the two rival forces had already begun to violate it at dawn with heavy shelling and clashes reported from Khartoum. EFE