UN warns Sudan warring parties of ‘weaponising’ starvation as famine looms

The UN experts have urged parties to the Sudan conflict to stop using starvation as a “weapon of war.”

The experts on Wednesday noted in a statement that over 25 million civilians in Sudan and fleeing Sudan are being starved and require urgent humanitarian assistance because of the war between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and Rapid Support Forces (RSF).

“However, humanitarian aid is being blocked and the harvest season has been disrupted due to the armed conflict, making widespread famine imminent in the coming months,” they said.

“Both the SAF and the RSF are using food as a weapon and starving civilians.”

The experts stressed that the extent of hunger and displacement in Sudan is “unprecedented and never witnessed before,” urging both sides to stop blocking, looting, and exploiting humanitarian assistance.

They also stressed the deliberate targeting of humanitarian workers and local volunteers has undermined aid operations, putting millions of people at further risk of starvation.

Working with locals

Despite pledges from the donor community, they said, funding for the humanitarian response plan remains “low and insufficient” to meet current needs.

“The UN and international donors must recognise the limits of traditional international humanitarian relief in the context of Sudan and be more creative by devoting more support to humanitarian organisations working locally,” the experts said.

“Despite challenges, community mutual aid initiatives are currently leading food delivery efforts, particularly through emergency response rooms, that serve millions of meals daily.”

The experts also called on parties to the conflict to agree to an immediate ceasefire and inclusive political negotiations.

The conflict in Sudan broke out in April 2023 between army 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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