By TESFA-ALEM TEKLE
The United Nations appealed Wednesday for $3 billion to help those affected by the conflict that erupted last month in Sudan.
The U.N. humanitarian agency said it needs $2.6 billion to help those still inside Sudan, saying 25 million people in the country are in need of humanitarian aid and protection.
Ramesh Rajasingham, head of the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Geneva and director of the Coordination Division, said the fighting in Sudan has been a “cruel blow to the people of Sudan.”
Rajasingham said the conflict has left at least 676 dead, with the true toll likely much higher.
Another $400 million of the appeal came from the U.N. refugee agency to help those who have fled to neighboring countries to escape the fighting in Sudan.
Mervat Shelbaya, chief of the interagency support branch for the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Geneva, said at a briefing Wednesday the fighting has forced more than 950,000 people from their homes and also forced 220,000 into neighboring countries.
“If we are to scale up our response and reach all those in need, we and the people of Sudan need the generous support of the international community,” Shelbaya said.
The Sudanese army, led by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, is battling the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, led by General Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo.
The two generals are former allies who together orchestrated an October 2021 military coup that derailed a transition to civilian rule following the 2019 ouster of longtime leader Omar al-Bashir.
Tensions between the generals have been growing over disagreements about how the Rapid Support Forces should be integrated in the army and who should oversee that process.
The restructuring of the military was part of an effort to restore the country to civilian rule and end the political crisis sparked by the 2021 military coup.
(The East African Daily)