Sudan: Clashes between SAF and RSF - Flash Update No. 12 (14 May 2023) [EN/AR]


ReliefWeb Situation Report



  • Fighting between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) has lasted for four consecutive weeks, with devastating consequences for civilians and civilian infrastructure, especially in Khartoum and Darfur.

  • A factory that produced vital supplies for the treatment of malnourished children in Sudan was burned down in Khartoum.

  • The conflict is threatening the main planting season, while prices of staple goods have risen dramatically, heightening the risk of food insecurity in the period ahead.

  • Partners are delivering assistance, including food, therapeutic feeding and safe learning spaces, to people impacted by the fighting as well as those who were already in need.


Clashes between the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) have continued for 30 consecutive days, especially in and around Khartoum, as of 14 May, killing at least 676 people and injuring 5,576 since the fighting began, according to the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) as of 11 May. In addition, inter-communal violence in West Kordofan on 8 May resulted in 25 deaths and 90 injured people. In White Nile, disputes in Kosti City killed 29 people and injured 40, according to FMoH, before a localized ceasefire was agreed among the communities.

The UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, has welcomed the signing by SAF and RSF representatives of the Declaration of Commitment to protect civilians and guarantee the safe passage of humanitarian aid in the country. The declaration signed on 11 May in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, recognizes the obligations of both sides under international humanitarian and human rights law to facilitate humanitarian action to meet the emergency needs of civilians, and respect humanitarian workers and assets. However, reports of attacks continued and, on 12 May, violence in Ag Geneina reportedly escalated.

Over 936,000 people have been newly displaced by the conflict since 15 April, including about 736,200 people displaced internally since the conflict began, and about 200,000 people who have crossed into neighbouring countries, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the UN refugee agency (UNHCR), respectively. This includes at least 450,000 children who have been forced to flee their homes, including some 368,000 who are internally displaced and 82,000 who have fled to neighbouring countries, according to the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Also, among the displaced are thousands of refugees and asylum seekers who had sought refuge in Sudan before the conflict and who have been displaced once again. Many of these refugees and asylum seekers have arrived in Aj Jazirah and Gedaref states in search of safety, according to UNHCR. Women and children represent over 75 per cent of the secondarily displaced refugees. Prior to the conflict, there were 3.7 million people internally displaced and 1.1 million refugees and asylum seekers in Sudan.

The ongoing conflict threatens the planting season, which is set to begin at the end of May. If the season is missed, the number of people going hungry will increase. This additional threat to Sudan’s food system will impact women the most, according to CARE. Before the crisis, 42 per cent of households headed by women already had less food compared to 31 per cent of male-headed households, and women are eating less since the conflict began. In addition, prolonged suspension of food assistance is anticipated to increase food insecurity in areas where aid was previously assessed to be preventing worse outcomes—especially in greater Darfur, parts of greater Kordofan and parts of greater Nile—according to FEWS NET, which is reviewing the situation.

Although markets are generally open, prices have increased dramatically for staple goods and there are shortages of imported goods such as wheat flour, oil, and tomato paste, according to a market assessment conducted by Mercy Corps in nine locations across Sudan. In some areas, shops have closed because of insecurity or lack of goods. Access to cash remains a significant issue in Khartoum and South Darfur, while the increase in fuel prices and transportation costs has hindered both daily life and the ability of people to move out of insecure areas.

Amid continued fighting in Khartoum, a factory that was producing vital supplies for the treatment of malnourished children in Sudan has been burnt down. The factory produced 60 per cent of the ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) (“plumpy nut”) utilized by UNICEF to treat children with severe acute malnutrition in Sudan last year as well as ready-to-use supplementary food (RUSF) provided by WFP to children with moderate acute malnutrition. The fire destroyed supplies to treat some 14,500 malnourished children as well as the factory’s machinery, according to UNICEF.


UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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