Western countries bring attention to 'forgotten crisis' in Sudan

France is hosting a conference in Paris on Monday to draw attention to the "forgotten crisis" in Sudan, which began one year ago. More than 840 million euros has already been raised and the aim is to raise at least 4 billion.

Exactly a year ago, civil war broke out in Sudan, a power struggle between generals Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and Mohammed Hamdane Daglo. But the conflict has been overshadowed by other crises in the world, such as Ukraine and the Middle East.

The Paris conference hopes to change that. "Today we are putting a forgotten crisis on the agenda," French Foreign minister Stéphane Séjourné said on Monday.

Millions in danger

The conflict has displaced 8.2 million people and left 18 million facing food shortages. The UN estimates that 8.9 million children face acute food insecurity.

In addition, outbreaks of cholera, measles, malaria and dengue fever are imminent as the conflict has left many without access to safe drinking water. Frontline workers have not been paid for a year, essential supplies have been depleted and infrastructure, including hospitals and schools, is still under attack.

The conference aims to raise money to prevent famine and provide more humanitarian aid. France has pledged 110 million euros in humanitarian aid, Germany 244 million, the European Commission 350 million and the US 138 million.

Sudanese leaders not present

Many top officials are attending the conference, including German Foreign minister Annalena Baerbock, EU high representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell and 20 ministers from Sudan's neighbouring countries. They hope to better coordinate mediation efforts, as previous attempts by Saudi Arabia and the US have been unsuccessful.

The warring Sudanese factions are not in Paris. Al-Burhan, the de facto leader of Sudan, called the conference "a flagrant disregard for international law and the principle of state sovereignty" because it was organised without consulting the Sudanese government.


Two young boys cross the border between Chad and Sudan in the Koufroun refugee camp © PHOTO JORIS BOLOMEY / AFP

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