WFP suspends food aid in Sudan: As conflict escalates, the World Food Programme has temporarily discontinued aid in several areas of Sudan’s Al-Jazirah state, where it was assisting over 800,000 people.
According to the World Food Programme, around 300,000 people have evacuated Al-Jazirah since December 15th, when hostilities started.
“Ongoing fighting makes it extremely challenging for humanitarian agencies to safely deliver assistance, especially with more and more people on the move, fleeing for their lives,” the statement stated.
The decision came after skirmishes and air strikes enveloped areas around Wad Madani city over the last week, with the US encouraging the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) militia fighting Sudan’s army to cease its offensive.
The army has now withdrawn from the city and initiated an inquiry into why the RSF was able to take over the land after troops were removed. According to the UN, residents evacuated from Wad Madani have migrated to the states of Gedaref, Sennar, and White Nile.
The RSF, which has its origins in a Darfur militia known as the Janjaweed, or “devils on horseback,” said in a statement this week that it advanced on Wad Medani after learning that the army had mobilised 40,000 soldiers to eradicate its forces.
The opening of a new front in central Sudan also threatens to disrupt delicate international efforts to broker a fresh truce in the conflict that has killed over 12,000 people and displaced 6.7 million.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said on Thursday that it was leaving Wad Madani because it was “turning into another death trap” for civilians.
In just three months, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Sudanese Red Crescent Society have enabled about 9,500 phone conversations for those who have lost contact with their loved ones.
Conflict began in the North African country in April, following the breakdown of an uneasy partnership between the Sudanese army, commanded by Gen Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, and the Rapid Support Forces paramilitary group, led by Mohamed Hamdan, also known as Hemedti.
The US has accused both sides of committing war crimes in the conflict, which has degraded into a proxy war, with Egypt and Iran supporting the Sudanese Armed Forces and the UAE supporting the RSF.
The UAE denies sending arms to the RSF. – Organizations
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