UNHCR sounds alarm: 600,000 Sudanese refugees flee to Chad

The conflict in Sudan has forced over 600,000 refugees, mostly women and children, to flee to Chad, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said on Tuesday.

In a statement, the UNHCR described the humanitarian crisis in eastern Chad as reaching a “critical point,” calling for urgent international support for Sudanese refugees along the Chad border.

“The conflict in Sudan has forced over 600,000 refugees and 180,000 Chadian returnees, the vast majority of them women and children, to flee into Chad, with more than 115,000 arriving since the start of 2024,” it said.

“The influx of refugees shows no signs of abating” with about 630 people crossing the border daily in May, the statement said.

It noted that one-third of the new arrivals in Chad are currently living in “dire conditions” at spontaneous sites along the border.

The UNHCR warned that the situation on the Chad-Sudan border was “deteriorating rapidly” as fighting continued in Darfur, with more displacement likely.

Earlier on Tuesday, the so-called Coordination of Resistance Committees in El Fasher in North Darfur state said that at least four people were killed and 16 others injured in clashes in Abu Shouk camp between General Burhan’s military (SAF) and Sudan’s Rapid Support Forces (RSF).

The UNHCR made an urgent appeal for $80 million “to build three additional sites with essential services and infrastructure to relocate an additional 150,000 expected new arrivals.”

The International Organization for Migration said on Tuesday that over 10 million people have been displaced inside and outside Sudan since April 15, 2023.

The conflict in Sudan broke out in April 2023 between Gen. Abdel Fattah al Burhan and RSF commander Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo over disagreements about integrating the RSF into the military.

The conflict has killed nearly 16,000 people, displaced millions and caused a devastating humanitarian crisis in Sudan, according to UN figures.

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