Geneva — Sudan, like Ukraine, is deeply worrying for the United Nations as the latest figures show it helped swell the worldwide displacement total to an estimated 110 million in May, the UN Refugee Agency said Wednesday.
The upward trajectory in global forced displacement showed no sign of slowing in 2023 as the eruption of Sudan’s conflict triggered new outflows, pushing up the global total, the UN High Commission for Refugees said here.
“These figures show us that some people are far too quick to rush to conflict and way too slow to find solutions. The consequence is devastation, displacement, and anguish for each of the millions of people forcibly uprooted from their homes,” said UN Refugee Agency chief Filippo Grandi. He was speaking after the release of the agency”s Global Trends report.
Of the global total, 35.3 million were refugees who crossed an international border to find safety. In contrast, even more – 58 percent, representing 62.5 million people – were displaced in their home countries due to conflict and violence.
“So, the figure has gone up again,” said Grandi giving his grim assessment to journalists at a UN press conference. “It’s been seven, eight years or even more, in which this figure has been rising every year 1686809924 to an estimated 110 million.
“It also includes, in particular, the large displacement of Sudanese people since the 15th of April,” which, Grandi said, has had a spillover effect in neighbouring African countries.
He said one significant driver has been the situation in Ukraine, which has displaced millions, both inside and outside the country. “And this year [it] has been the situation in Sudan. The latest figures of people that have left Sudan, mostly Sudanese nationals, but also some refugees in Sudan from other countries that go back to their country, is more than 450,000.
“I’m sure it will reach half a million in a couple of days maximum if the trends continue.
“I think all neighbours of Sudan are impacted. The one that has received the most is Egypt.”
Grandi said he was at the Egyptian border with Sudan two weeks ago, where the situation was “dramatic” in a country which had its own “security concerns.”
“They [Egypt] have received well over 200,000 already. Egypt already has a large Sudanese community. And that helps because that community has supported those arriving.”
The other country of concern Grandi mentioned was Chad.
“Chad has received well over 120,000 Sudanese or people fleeing, plus another, at least 20,000, Chadeans who lived in Sudan.”
Chad is in a complicated and fragile political transition, Grandi said. “It borders complex countries like the Central African Republic and Libya in the Lake Chad region. So the arrival of many people can be quite destabilizing if it’s not handled properly.”
The UN Refugee chief also cited South Sudan.
“There are well over 100,000 people that have left Sudan to flee to South Sudan. Most of them are South Sudanese, they’re not Sudanese. These people were refugees in Sudan before, about 800,000 of them.”