Cairo, Dec 19 (EFE).- Intense fighting between the Sudanese army and the powerful paramilitary group has forced up to 300,000 people to flee from Sudan’s second-largest city of War Madani, a refuge for hundreds of thousands of displaced persons from the war-hit capital, Khartoum.
On Monday, the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) asserted that they had seized control of an army base in Wad Madani, the capital of Al Jazirah state.
The city had served as a vital hub for humanitarian operations during the conflict that erupted in April between the regular army and paramilitary forces.
According to the UN’s International Organization for Migration (IOM), at least 250,000–300,000 internally displaced people have fled the city, 136 km southeast of the capital, Khartoum, over the last three days of escalating violence.
“Given the scarcity of available transport options, many people have reportedly fled by foot,” the IOM said on its displacement tracking matrix portal.
The UN’s children’s agency has urged an end to violence in the state of Al Jazirah and its capital, Wad Madani, which hosted “hundreds of thousands of children and families, including those who have already fled the war.”
“No child should have to experience the violence of war. Not once, not twice. The escalating violence in Sudan, especially in Al Jazirah State, needs to stop,” Mandeep O’Brien, Unicef representative in Sudan, wrote on the social media platform X, formerly Twitter.
The displaced people have moved south to the neighboring Sennar state, and some have moved to the eastern states of Gedaref, Kassala, and Blue Nile.
Some are even “transiting across the border to South Sudan through the Renk border crossing point,” the IOM agency said.
The Sudan director of the Norwegian Refugee Council, William Carter, said on X (formerly Twitter) that there was “so little for them to survive on.” “Most live in makeshift shelters with no food…this is catastrophic.”
According to the UN humanitarian affairs office, Wad Madani was the center of humanitarian operations, which involves the storage of large stocks of supplies for response efforts within the state and, when access is feasible, in Khartoum, the worst hit by the conflict.
The security situation has compelled humanitarian organizations to scale back their presence in Wad Madani.
The Sudanese army and the powerful paramilitary group have been waging a bloody war for control of the country since Apr. 15, resulting in more than 12,000 deaths, more than 6 million refugees and displaced persons, and a humanitarian catastrophe in Sudan. EFE