UNHCR calls on parties to conflict to allow passage of civilians
July 5 (EUROPA PRESS) –
The United Nations Agency for Refugees (UNHCR) has reported on Tuesday the death of at least 28 refugees in the capital of Sudan, Khartoum, in the context of the conflict between the Sudanese Army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), for which reason it has asked the parties to guarantee the safe passage of civilians.
“It has now been confirmed that on June 25, 28 refugees hosted by Sudan died in Khartoum when the area in which they lived was engulfed by fighting, and other refugees were injured in the incident,” reads a statement from the agency, which has expressed their condolences to the loved ones of the victims.
UNHCR has been “deeply concerned by continuing reports of civilians in Sudan, both internally displaced and refugees caught up in the ongoing conflict, becoming indiscriminate victims of fighting and being prevented from seeking safety.”
“Once again, refugees and other civilians are the innocent victims of this tragic war. Both sides must allow civilians to move freely to safer places, guaranteeing their protection and well-being and respecting Human Rights”, declared the director UNHCR Regional Office for East and Horn of Africa and the Great Lakes Region, Mamadou Dian Balde.
Thus, he stressed that “everyone must respect International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights standards and give priority to the safety and well-being of affected communities, including refugees.”
Balde has denounced that “despite countless calls to all parties to protect non-combatants, innocent civilians, including refugees, continue to be forced to flee the fighting in extremely dangerous circumstances”, becoming the object of harassment, abuse and robbery.
That is why it has been reported that more than 500 refugees trying to flee the conflict have been intercepted by armed groups, who have confiscated their belongings and have left them without access to basic necessities such as drinking water or means of transportation.
“These incidents are unacceptable and highlight the immense challenges faced by civilians seeking safety far from conflict zones,” the letter continued, adding that UNHCR is monitoring the situation of refugees stranded in Khartoum and providing them with protection advice.
After nine weeks of conflict in Sudan, more than two and a half million people have been displaced within the country and across borders into neighboring countries. Before this crisis, there were 1.1 million refugees in Sudan, mainly from South Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Syria.