The United Nations has issued a warning about the high number of children dying in the Sudan conflict, with reports indicating that seven children are being killed or injured every hour. James Elder, a spokesman for the UN children's agency UNICEF, revealed that they had received reports from a trusted partner stating that 190 children had been killed and 1,700 injured in just the first 11 days of the conflict. These numbers were gathered from health facilities in Khartoum and the Darfur region and therefore may not represent the total number of children affected. Elder believes the reality is likely to be much worse.
The conflict began on April 15 and has caused hundreds of people to be killed and hundreds of thousands to flee their homes. Army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan's forces have been battling his former deputy Mohamed Hamdan Daglo's Rapid Support Forces. The sides have agreed to a string of short ceasefires, but none have been fully respected. On Friday, air strikes and gunfire continued to rock Khartoum for a 21st straight day.
The UN refugee agency has also voiced concern over the situation in Sudan, urging all countries to refrain from returning Sudanese nationals to the country. The agency is preparing for an outflow of 860,000 people from Sudan into neighboring countries, with more than 113,000 people having already fled the country. Hundreds of thousands more have been displaced inside Sudan.
UNHCR's international protection chief, Elizabeth Tan, called on countries to allow civilians fleeing Sudan non-discriminatory access to their territories, including Sudanese nationals, foreign nationals, refugees who were being hosted by Sudan, stateless people, and those who are not in possession of passports or other identity documents. She also called on states to suspend forced returns to Sudan, including of people who have previously had their asylum claims rejected, and highlighted that previously delivered negative asylum decisions might need to be reconsidered.