Jump to navigation


Western governments may pay price for inaction on war

Civil war and regional instability could drive refugees to EU, warns UN chief

The refugee crisis in Sudan and wider regional instability could prompt tens thousands of people to move north, trying to cross into Europe, Filippo Grandi, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, has warned.

Since the civil war between the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) led by General Abdel Fattah al Burhan, and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) paramilitary group commanded by Gen Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo 'Hemeti', more than 9 million people are reported to have been driven from their homes in Sudan; 1.5m people have fled into neighbouring countries (AC Vol 64 No 10, A war that hits everyone all at once).

'The Europeans are always so worried about people coming across the Mediterranean. Well, I have a warning for them that if they don't support more refugees coming out of Sudan, even displaced people inside Sudan, we will see onward movements of people towards Libya, Tunisia and across the Mediterranean,' Grandi said. 'There is no doubt.'

Grandi warned that the political and economic fragility in many of the states bordering Sudan is likely to encourage refugees to move toward northern countries like Tunisia and Egypt, from which to attempt to cross the Mediterranean Sea into Europe. 'When refugees go out and they don't receive enough assistance, they go further,' Grandi said.

Last week, the European Commission promised €117m (US$125m) in humanitarian aid to Chad and Sudan, where about 60% of the population is facing acute food insecurity.

Having spent much of the last decade overhauling its rules on immigration and asylum, the European Union has tried to outsource border management to North African states. The EU executive agreed a 'cash for migrant control' deal with Tunisia last July and is close to concluding a similar arrangement with Egypt.

Related Articles

A war that hits everyone all at once

As the generals are deadlocked in battle, a humanitarian disaster is building with refugees fleeing for neighbouring countries

Prospects for a humanitarian ceasefire in Sudan have improved since the opening of talks between representatives of the warring factions open in Jeddah on 6 May, according to Unite...

Reliving Darfur's tragic history 20 years on

The floundering attempts at a ceasefire around Khartoum are ignoring the growing threat of regional conflagration in the west

As international attention flickered on the failing talks in Jeddah mediated by officials from Saudi Arabia and the United States, the war between Sudan's military factions has bee...

Burhan counters anti-corruption drive

The ousted transitional government launched an anti-corruption body, but the generals suspended it when it did its job too well

At the heart of the power struggles between civilians and the military in Sudan is a body whose full name is as daunting as the mission it was tasked with: the Committee for Disman...

The hit on Hamdok

The attempt on the Prime Minister’s life underscores his vulnerability and puts the spotlight on his myriad foes

Whether the bomb attack on Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok's convoy on 9 March was a serious bid to kill him or just a show of strength by backers of the former regime it has further...

Military manoeuvres

Garang's death means that changes he imposed on the SPLM have been reversed

Only days after the death of the Southern Sudanese leader, John Garang de Mabior, some senior officials of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement and Army were quietly commenting t...