UN warns situation in war-torn Sudan ‘spiraling out of control’

The United Nations has warned that millions of people across Sudan are running out of food and are on the brink of famine as the situation in the war-torn Northeast African country is spiraling out of control.

The international body said on Tuesday that the ongoing armed conflict has impeded agricultural activities, causing millions of people to face acute food insecurity. Many people are also dying due to lack of healthcare.

“Time is running out for farmers to plant the crops that will feed them and their neighbors. Medical supplies are scarce. The situation is spiraling out of control,” UN agencies said in a joint statement.

The statement comes as four months of a power struggle between Sudan’s army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces has killed nearly 4,000 people. The conflict erupted on April 15 over tensions linked to a planned transition to civilian rule, plunging the country into violence.

Medical supplies are now scarce in the war-affected areas as humanitarian agencies are struggling to provide relief due to insecurity, looting and bureaucratic hurdles.

Separately, Elizabeth Throssell, spokesperson for the High Commissioner for Human Rights, said in a briefing in the Swiss city of Geneva on Tuesday that “the remains of many of those killed have not been collected, identified or buried.”

In addition to that, reports of sexual assaults have increased by 50 percent, said UN population fund official Laila Baker.

More than four million people have been displaced, including nearly one million who have fled to neighboring countries.

The UN estimates seasonal rains that increase the risk of water-borne diseases have destroyed or damaged the homes of up to 13,500 people.

The millions who remain in Khartoum and cities in the Darfur and Kordofan regions have faced rampant looting and long power, communications and water cuts.

Large swathes of the country have been suffering from an electricity blackout since Sunday that has also taken mobile networks offline.

Army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan in a speech on Monday accused the RSF of aiming “to take the country back to an era before the modern state” and “committing every crime that can be imagined.”

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