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Aid workers ‘cannot access’ many areas of war-battered Sudan — Red Cross

By AFP - Jul 11,2024 - Last updated at Jul 11,2024

Volunteers dispense medication at a make-shift emergency clinic serving people displaced by conflict from Singa, Sennar and Dinder, at a former technical education school building in Kassala, eastern Sudan, on Saturday (AFP photo)

PORT SUDAN, Sudan  — Large parts of war-torn Sudan are inaccessible to aid workers, a Red Cross official said on Wednesday as devastating fighting between the army and paramilitaries rages on.

“There are plenty of areas we cannot access, sometimes because they are very dangerous, and sometimes we do not receive permission,” said Pierre Dorbes, a representative of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

“Improving access will help millions of people,” Dorbes told journalists in Port Sudan, the Red Sea city where the army, government and UN agencies are now based.

War has raged since April 2023 between the regular army under Abdel Fattah Al Burhan and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, led by his former deputy Mohamed Hamdan Daglo.

The conflict has left tens of thousands dead and displaced more than 10 million people, according to the United Nations.

A recent UN-backed report said nearly 26 million people, or slightly more than half of the population, were facing high levels of “acute food insecurity”.

Volunteer groups in some areas consumed by the violence have set up communal kitchens, supported by international organisations.

“We provide about 2,000 meals a day, and this number is increasing daily,” Esmat Mohamed, who supervises one such initiative in the capital Khartoum, told AFP.

But international groups face logistical hurdles in transferring funds to volunteers on the ground, said one employee requesting anonymity for security reasons.

In the town of Dilling, near the South Sudan border, Kinda Komi is one of the volunteers providing meals to those in need.

“Since the start of the war, no food aid has reached the town, and the roads connecting it to the rest of the country have been cut due to the clashes,” she said.

According to her, “half of those in need leave without receiving meals.”

 

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