First Red Cross Relief Flight to Sudan

First Red Cross Relief Flight to Sudan

Photo description
People flee to escape conflict near the airport in Omdurman, Sudan, April 26, 2023. Photo: THX/VNA

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said the plane was carrying 8 tons of humanitarian goods, including medical supplies to help Sudanese hospitals, and volunteers from the Sudanese Red Crescent. The flight took off from Jordan’s capital, Amman, to the eastern Sudanese city of Port Sudan.

According to Mr Patrick Youssef, ICRC Regional Director for Africa, this is the only entry point for bringing aid to Sudan. The medical equipment assistance is sufficient for 1,500 patients. The ICRC hopes to be secured so that it can further assist the capital city of Khartoum and the Darfur region.

Meanwhile, heavy fighting continued in the capital Khartoum despite both sides agreeing to extend the ceasefire for another 72 hours, until midnight on April 30. According to eyewitnesses, clashes took place around the army headquarters in the center of the capital Khartoum.

Both sides accuse the other of violating the truce. The Sudanese army said it destroyed an RSF convoy heading for Khartoum from the west, while the RSF said troops had attacked and shelled its positions in various areas of Khartoum province.

Fierce fighting between the Sudanese army and the RSF has forced thousands of foreigners to evacuate the African country by land, air and sea. Meanwhile, millions of Sudanese fell and lost water, food and basic necessities. Tens of thousands of people have been evacuated from neighboring countries.

Satellite images show long lines of passenger cars at the Egyptian border, while the United Nations says tens of thousands of Sudanese have been evacuated to Chad, South Sudan, Ethiopia and the Central African Republic. Sudan’s Ministry of Health announced on April 30 that the conflict has left at least 528 people dead and around 4,600 injured, but these figures are not final. The fighting has affected 12 of Sudan’s 18 states, including the Darfur region.

The UN’s World Food Program (WFP) warns that conflict could drive millions more to famine in Sudan, where up to 15 million people need assistance to stave off famine.
Since the outbreak of the conflict, the two sides have agreed to several cease-fire agreements, but none have been adhered to. The most recent ceasefire agreement, lasting 3 days, until midnight on April 30 (i.e. 5 am on May 1 Vietnam time), was agreed by both sides on April 27, mediated by the United States, Saudi Arabia, African Union and the United Nations.

Facing the above situation, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres urged the parties to negotiate to end the bloodshed and support the African initiative to build peace in Sudan. Currently, the United Nations is intensifying efforts to assist Sudanese citizens trying to flee to neighboring countries.

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