Sudan heading for refugee crisis as war escalates – but international solidarity isn’t forthcoming

Refugees of the war in Sudan
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Hundreds of thousands could flee Sudan as peace negotiations break down. Up to 860,000 people could be displaced by the growing conflict there. Yet the UK’s home secretary has already said Sudanese people will not get a refugee scheme like Ukraine.

A ceasefire effort was left in tatters on Thursday as the UN warned of an exodus of 860,000 refugees. And in Khartoum, witnesses reported fighting on the streets.

The foreign ministry accused the Rapid Support Force (RSF) of attacking the Indian embassy in Khartoum, which the diplomatic mission did not immediately confirm. It is the latest in a spate of such incidents.

Deadly urban combat broke out on 15 April between Sudan’s de facto leader Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and his deputy-turned-rival Mohamed Hamdan Daglo. The fighting has killed about 700 people.

UN warning

The UN refugee agency said it was preparing for an outflow of 860,000 people from the north African country. The agency said $445 million would be needed to support them just through October.

Raouf Mazou, the UNHCR’s assistant chief of operations, said:

We urgently need timely, new funding to respond to the mounting needs.

Read on...

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The needs are vast, and the challenges are numerous. If the crisis continues, peace and stability across the region could be at stake.

More than 115,000 people have already fled Sudan into neighbouring countries since the fighting erupted.

Ukraine comparison

The UK has already provided extensive support for Ukrainian refugees. But home secretary Suella Braverman ruled out similar support early on in the Sudan crisis. Braverman dodged questions on safe routes when challenged by the BBC in April:

Journalist Alex Tiffin noted the different treatment:

Consultant with the World Health Organisation, Dr, Javid Abdelmoneim, pointed out the difference in urgency:

One Twitter user rightly showed the hypocrisy of the international community in rallying around white refugees from Ukraine, and nobody else:

The Refugee Council made the salient point that Ukrainians have been given safe routes of escape, and so don’t have to cross the Channel:

Once again, the UK government is covering itself in shame when it comes to refugees from the Global South. And this is despite its own bloody colonial history in Sudan. As we stand at the precipice of another massive human tragedy in Africa, we should ask once again how we ended up here. And then, we should demand that refugees from Sudan are faced with the same outpouring of sympathy, refuge, and collective solidarity as white refugees.

Additional reporting by Agence-France Press

Featured image via Wikimedia Commons/DFID, cropped to 770 x 403, licenced under CC BY 2.0.

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  • Show Comments
    1. Ukraine was invaded by a foreign country.Sudan is having yet another civil war.Most of the refugees fro Ukraine are women and children who will go back to Ukraine once the war is over.Most of the Sudanese refugees who come to these shores will be young men who have no intention of returning .Britains colonial rule in Sudan was actually a time of relative peace and prosperity compared to what came before and since.It was the British who abolished slavery in Sudan which had been exploited by the Arab world as a source of slaves for centuries.

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