The United Nations said Thursday that bringing aid into conflict-stricken Sudan poses various challenges, with the country’s warring factions hampering humanitarian efforts.
Sudan was plunged into chaos when tensions between the military, headed by Gen. Abdel Fattah Burhan, and the Rapid Support Forces paramilitary, led by Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo, burst into open warfare in April.
Clementine Nkweta-Salami, Special Representative for the UN Secretary-General and Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Sudan said delivering aid through its two entry points of Port Sudan and the Chad-Darfur border are equally problematic.
“We have a longer route from Port Sudan so there are multiple actors that we need to negotiate with for the convoys to move forward.” Nkweta-Salami said during a press conference in Geneva.
“In Darfur, it’s a less, I would say, a less structured group, but we still have to negotiate,“ she added.
The fighting has reduced the capital, Khartoum, to an urban warzone meanwhile In Sudan’s western Darfur region, the conflict has morphed into ethnic violence, with the RSF and allied Arab militias attacking ethnic African groups, according to rights groups and the United Nations.
The border between Darfur and Chad is largely controlled the RSF and allied Arab militia.
Port Sudan is controlled by the military and has seen little conflict in the past six months.
Nkweta-Salami denounced actors who were preventing aid workers from passing through unimpeded and said that 19 aid workers have been killed and 29 injured.
At least 5,000 people have been killed and more than 12,000 have been wounded since the fighting erupted in spring, the U.N. says.
However, doctors’ groups and activists say the true number is likely far higher.