Sudan conflict: 450,000 children forced to flee their homes
Estimated 82,000 children have fled to neighboring countries
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At least 450,000 children in Sudan have been forced to flee their homes due to the ongoing fighting, according to the UN children's agency, UNICEF.
For weeks the conflict-hit African nation has been engulfed by violence between the army and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) paramilitary group.
An estimated 82,000 children have fled to neighboring countries and around 368,000 more are internally displaced, UNICEF said in a statement.
"The brutal conflict in Sudan has exacted a devastating toll on the country’s children," said UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell. "Thousands have experienced deeply traumatic events or been driven from their homes in search of relative safety".
More than 164,000 people have sought refuge in the Central African Republic, Chad, Egypt, Ethiopia, Libya and South Sudan since the violence erupted on April 15, according to the UN refugee agency.
UNICEF also warned that the rainy season may increase the risks of disease.
Sudan's warring parties signed a commitment late Thursday on guidelines for allowing humanitarian assistance.
Since April 15, more than 550 people have been killed and thousands injured in fighting between two rival generals – army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and RSF commander Mohammed Hamdan "Hemedti" Dagalo.
Disagreement had been fomenting in recent months between the two sides over integration of the RSF into the armed forces — a key condition of Sudan's transition agreement with political groups.
Sudan has been without a functioning government since fall 2021, when the military dismissed Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok's transitional government and declared a state of emergency in a move decried by political forces as a "coup."
The transitional period, which started in August 2019 after the ouster of President Omar al-Bashir, had been scheduled to end with elections in early 2024.
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