The fighting that erupted in Sudan on April 15 has already sent hundreds of thousands fleeing for their lives, and the United Nations is bracing for many more to follow.

The conflict between the army and a paramilitary group has displaced more than 330,000 people within the country and more than 100,000 others have escaped across into neighbouring countries.

The UN refugee agency UNHCR is planning for the possibility that the conflict could spur more than 800,000 people to flee Sudan as refugees.

Here is an overview:

The UN`s International Organization for Migration (IOM) said an estimated 334,053 people had been internally displaced by the fighting, with figures going up to April 28.

Displacement has been reported from 14 of Sudan`s 18 states.

About 72 percent, roughly 240,000 of these new internal displacements were reported in West and South Darfur alone, spokesman Paul Dillon told reporters in Geneva.

The number of people displaced in the last two weeks exceeds all conflict-related displacement in Sudan in 2022, he added.

Sudan counted around 3.7 million internally displaced persons before the conflict started, mostly in the volatile Darfur region.

Sudan also hosted 1.13 million refugees before the conflict -- one of the largest refugee populations in Africa.

Of those, 800,000 are South Sudanese, and 136,000 are from Eritrea. There are also 93,000 Syrians, 72,000 Ethiopians and 24,000 from the Central African Republic (CAR).

Sudan shares a border, in order of length, with South Sudan, Chad, the CAR, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Libya.

Over 100,000 refugees are estimated to be among those who have now fled Sudan to neighbouring countries, UNHCR spokeswoman Olga Sarrado told reporters in Geneva on Tuesday.

The agency said the most significant cross border movements so far have been Sudanese refugees arriving in Chad and Egypt, and South Sudanese refugees in Sudan returning to their home country.

UNHCR on Monday said it was working with a planning figure of over 800,000 people possibly fleeing Sudan.

It foresees three scenarios: Sudanese fleeing as refugees into neighbouring countries; refugees hosted by Sudan returning home and refugees hosted by Sudan moving to other neighbouring countries.

Among the urgent needs are water, food, shelter, health care, relief items, gender-based violence response and prevention, and child protection services, said Sarrado.

UNHCR said 40,000 refugees plus a further 2,000 third-country nationals have crossed Sudan`s northern border.

Refugees making it to Cairo reported leaving with few belongings, food, water or cash on the treacherous journeys, having paid small fortunes for scarce bus tickets out of the war zone amid crippling fuel shortages.

The IOM said much of the cross-border movement commences from across locations in Khartoum where clashes have impacted residents.

UNHCR estimates that 30,000 people have fled westwards into Chad. More than 21,000 have so far been identified for registration.

Some new arrivals are still staying out in the open or under trees, while others are sleeping in makeshift shelters close to the border, said Sarrado.

UNHCR expects the number to rise to up to 100,000 people in the worst-case scenario.

The looming rainy season will make it harder to reach the border area with aid.

More than 400,000 Sudanese refugees are already hosted across 13 camps and among local communities in eastern Chad.

UNHCR said an estimated 27,275 people had crossed the southern border into South Sudan.

Of these, nearly 21,000 are South Sudanese returnees, nearly 2,700 are refugees from Sudan, with the rest being third-country nationals.

The agency has set up a transit centre for new arrivals.

Around 8,900 refugees are thought to have crossed into Ethiopia from Sudan, according to UNHCR. Of those, nearly 7,300 are third-country nationals, with the rest either refugees

from Sudan or Ethiopian returnees.

UNHCR said 6,000 people had crossed the border, with 5,600 being refugees from Sudan and the rest CAR returnees.

The IOM said approximately 70 percent were women and 20 percent were children.

Relocation assessments are under way to move people away from the border to more secure locations, Sarrado said.

Around 550 people are thought to have crossed into Libya, though UNHCR has not registered any refugees yet.

Neither the IOM or UNHCR had any information on movement into Eritrea.


Original article

Photo on the front page: Smoke billowing from airstrikes in central Khartoum. Source: CNN. Image on this page: Map indicating the numbers and flows of persons displaced from the conflict in Sudan. Source: Africa Center for Strategic Studies.

• Accompanying social processes
• Armed / ethnic conflict
• Destruction of habitat
• Displaced
• Displacement
• ESC rights
• National
• Regional