UN warns Sudan crisis could force 800,000 to flee
STORY: Drone footage obtained by Reuters shows a massive pillar of smoke bellowing over the Sudanese capital Khartoum on Monday after air strikes and artillery attacks.
The United Nations on Monday warned the conflict in Africa's third-most populous nation could force 800,000 people to flee into neighboring countries.
Sudan's U.N. humanitarian coordinator Abdou Dieng warned of a "full blown catastrophe:"
“As you know, it has been more than two weeks of devastating fighting in Sudan, a conflict that is turning Sudan humanitarian crisis into a full blown catastrophe."
Hundreds of people have been killed and thousands wounded in battles that erupted between the Sudanese army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, or RSF, in the middle of April.
Foreign governments have pulled out their citizens over the past week in a series of operations by air, sea and land.
Among them was Nour Kullab who moved to Sudan eight years ago to study medicine, and was evacuated back to her home in the Gaza Strip just before she was supposed to graduate:
"It was horror. When you see bodies scattered right and left, dismembered people, torched banks, you feel it is totally unsafe. I felt like the future was on hold and all my hard work while I was away from home disappeared in a glimpse and in one day, all my hard work during eight years has gone."
Sudanese civilians have fled into neighboring countries by the tens of thousands, raising fears the crisis could exacerbate regional instability.
“Civilians continue to flee the fighting. Many of them are taking refuge in areas of the country that have not been as much affected by the conflict. The regional spillover effect of the crisis is of a serious concern.”
Sudan's army chief and the head of the RSF had shared control of government after a 2021 coup, but fell out over a planned transition to civilian rule.
Both sides agreed on Sunday to extend a truce by 72 hours and the U.N. told Reuters they may hold truce talks in Saudi Arabia. But that truce has been interrupted by gunfire and artillery.