"UN Refugee Chief Warns of New Sudanese Migrant Influx to Europe Amid Ongoing Conflict"

Europe may face a new influx of Sudanese migrants unless a cease-fire agreement is reached soon between Sudan’s warring factions and humanitarian efforts are bolstered, warned the head of the United Nations refugee agency on Monday.

Filippo Grandi stated, “The Europeans are always so worried about people coming across the Mediterranean. Well, I have a warning for them that if they don’t support more refugees coming out of Sudan, even displaced people inside Sudan, we will see onward movements of people towards Libya, Tunisia and across the Mediterranean. There is no doubt.”

The conflict between the Sudanese military, led by Gen. Abdel Fattah Burhan, and the Rapid Support Forces, commanded by Gen. Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo, has resulted in over 9 million internally displaced people in Sudan and 1.5 million refugees fleeing to neighboring countries in the past 10 months.

The conflict began in April last year in Khartoum and quickly spread across the country. Grandi highlighted that neighboring countries like Chad, Central African Republic, South Sudan, and Ethiopia, which already face their own challenges, will struggle to provide sufficient assistance to refugees.

He warned that refugees might move further north towards countries like Tunisia, where some have been reported planning to cross to Europe. Grandi emphasized, “When refugees go out and they don’t receive enough assistance, they go further.”

The war in Sudan is becoming increasingly fragmented, with various militias controlling different areas. Grandi expressed concern that militias might commit more abuses against civilians, leading to further displacement.

He urged the international community not to overlook conflicts in places like Sudan, Congo, Afghanistan, and Myanmar amidst crises in Ukraine and Gaza. Grandi stressed, “Gaza is a tragedy, it needs a lot of attention and resources, but it cannot be at the expense of another big crisis like Sudan.”

Grandi’s comments came after his visit to Sudan and Ethiopia, which is recovering from a two-year conflict in its northern Tigray region.

The United Nations reports at least 12,000 deaths in Sudan’s conflict, although local doctors groups believe the true toll is much higher. Dagalo’s paramilitary forces have gained ground in the past three months, advancing east and north across Sudan’s central belt. Both sides have been accused of war crimes by rights groups.

Regional and international efforts, including mediation by African partners, Saudi Arabia, and the United States, have not yet led to a meeting between Burhan and Dagalo to resolve the conflict.

Piers Potter


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