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UN refugee chief says over 500,000 have fled Sudan

Nairobi, Kenya | June 20, 2023, Tuesday @ 15:03 in World » AFRICA | By: AFP | Views: 3643
UN refugee chief says over 500,000 have fled Sudan

(FILES) People walk among scattered objects in the market of El Geneina, the capital of West Darfur, on April 29, 2023, as fighting continues in Sudan between the forces of two rival generals. Sudan's devastating war raged on into a third month on June 15, 2023, as the reported death toll topped 2,000 and after a state governor was killed in the remote Darfur region. (Photo by AFP) 

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(AFP) - The head of the UN's refugee agency Filippo Grandi said on Tuesday that the number of people who have fled the fighting in Sudan was now more than 500,000 while two million are internally displaced.

"Today we pass the mark of half a million refugees from Sudan following the beginning of the conflict," he said at a press conference in Nairobi.

"Two million people are displaced inside the country."

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.

"If we don't silence those guns, the exodus of Sudanese people will continue," said Grandi, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

He was speaking on World Refugee Day, a day after donors at a UN conference pledged close to $1.5 billion to combat the humanitarian crisis in Sudan and help its neighbours host those fleeing the fighting.

More than two months into the fighting, the United Nations voiced fears the crisis could spill over and destabilise neighbouring African states.

"The scale and speed of Sudan's descent into death and destruction is unprecedented," UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres told the donor conference on Monday.

© Agence France-Presse

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