United Nations, July 15 (EFE).- The deadly conflict in Sudan, with thousands of deaths and millions displaced, reached its three-month mark on Saturday, pushing the country toward the brink of civil war.
“As the conflict enters its fourth month, the battle lines are hardening,” the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, Martin Griffiths, said in a statement on Saturday.
Griffiths said the unrelenting fighting made it “ever more difficult” to reach the millions of people who need urgent humanitarian assistance in the country torn apart by the three months of bloody conflict.
According to the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), more than three million people have been displaced due to the conflict, both within Sudan and across its borders.
The fighting, which broke out in mid-April, has reportedly claimed the lives of more than 1,100 people and injured over 12,000.
However, the Sudanese health ministry said the three months of clashes have claimed at least 3,100 lives.
“For three months now, the people of Sudan have endured unspeakable suffering amid violence that is tearing their country apart,” said Griffiths.
He said Sudan was one of the most-difficult places in the world for humanitarian workers to operate.
The UN official said it was becoming increasingly difficult for humanitarian workers to operate in the country.
“We cannot work under the barrel of a gun. We cannot replenish stores of food, water, and medicine if brazen looting of these stocks continues.”
The conflict in Sudan began on April 15 in a bloody power struggle between the Sudanese army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF).
The fighting has now entered its fourth month, with large-scale operations by the army to drive paramilitary units out of the capital.
Griffiths noted that children were among the worst affected, with an estimated 13.6 million – roughly half the number remaining in Sudan – in urgent need of assistance.
He underlined that the suffering of the Sudanese people would end when the fighting stopped, calling on the parties to the conflict to abide by the peace agreements they signed in the Saudi city of Jeddah to protect civilians and respect international humanitarian law.
Griffiths drew attention to the discovery of mass graves in West Darfur.
“Each day the fighting continues, the misery deepens for Sudanese civilians […] We must all redouble our efforts to ensure that the conflict in Sudan does not spiral into a brutal and interminable civil war with grave consequences for the region.”
On July 13, the UN reported the discovery of 87 bodies in a mass grave in Darfur, the epicenter of the conflict. The dead included seven women and seven children.
Griffiths said the discovery of the mass grave was the latest evidence pointing to a resurgence in ethnic killings in the region.
“The international community cannot ignore this harsh echo of history in Darfur.”
He urged the global community to “redouble our efforts to ensure” that the conflict in Sudan did not spiral into a civil war with grave consequences for the region. “The people of Sudan cannot afford to wait.” EFE