Khartoum market attack condemned by UN

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The UN humanitarian coordinator in Sudan condemned on Monday the recent deadly attacks on residential areas of Khartoum.

Clementine Nkweta-Salami, in a Tweet on X, formerly known as Twitter, said indiscriminate attacks which killed and wounded dozens of people in a market on Sunday “are completely unacceptable and violate international humanitarian law.”

The resistance committee of South Khartoum accused the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) of attacking the market south of the capital city, which killed 40 civilians, and provided photos of casualties it said were from the attack. However, the SAF denied it carried out such an attack, saying it never targets civilians.

Undersecretary-General Martin Griffiths, the UN’s relief chief, spoke on Sunday to Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, head of the Rapid Support Forces in Sudan, stressing the need for stepped-up access to people in need, said the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). There was no mention of a market attack.

“With the current response not meeting the colossal needs, Mr. Griffiths hopes to bring together the heads of all of the parties to be able to reach many more people,” said OCHA.

At a regular briefing for reporters on Monday, the deputy spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Farhan Haq, said Griffiths wants to bring together the heads of all of the parties in Sudan “to see what can be done to … reach many more people in the country.”

In neighboring Chad, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, wound up a visit over the weekend, calling for more international support to help the country cope with the surge in the number of refugees arriving from Sudan, the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, said.

As of last week, more than 400,000 refugees had arrived in the provinces of Ouaddaï, Sila and Wadi Fira, 86 percent of them women and children, UNHCR said.

The agency said most of the refugees in Chad come from Darfur, arriving in desperate conditions, particularly in the border town of Adre, which hosts over 150,000 people in a spontaneous settlement. Another 75,000 refugees were transferred from Adre to two newly built refugee settlements.

“While humanitarian partners have made considerable efforts to ensure access to basic services such as health, water, sanitation and food, the influx is putting pressure on already stretched resources and communities, with current funding levels insufficient to address both the emergency and long-term development needs of refugees and their hosts,” UNHCR said.

The agency said that before the Sudan conflict broke out in April, Chad was already hosting a large refugee population. Now, one in 17 people living in the country is a refugee.

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