UN welcomes envoys from the Middle East and Europe to raise funds for the humanitarian crisis in Sudan

CAIRO (AP) — Envoys from the Middle East and Europe attended a UN-organized meeting on Monday aimed at raising funds to address the worsening humanitarian crisis in Sudan.

Sudan has been rocked by fighting for more than two months as the army and paramilitary rapid support forces battle for control of the country. Sudan’s health ministry said on Saturday more than 3,000 people had been killed in the conflict, which has decimated the country’s fragile infrastructure and sparked ethnic violence in the western Darfur region.

Representatives from Egypt, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the African Union and the European Union met in Geneva to discuss aid to Sudan. The UN says its emergency aid program launched after the outbreak of war on April 15 has received less than 16% of the $2.57 billion in aid needed.

About 24.7 million people, more than half of Sudan’s population, are in need of humanitarian assistance, according to the UN. More than 2.2 million people have fled their homes to safer areas elsewhere in Sudan or crossed into neighboring countries, according to the latest UN figures.

On Sunday morning, the country’s warring forces began a three-day ceasefire, the ninth truce since the start of the conflict. Most ceasefires have failed.

The conflict has turned the capital, Khartoum, and other urban areas into battlefields. The paramilitary force, commanded by General Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo, occupied houses and other civilian properties, according to residents and activists. The army, led by General Abdel-Fattah Burhan, has staged repeated airstrikes in densely populated civilian areas.

West Darfur province has seen some of the worst violence. with tens of thousands fleeing to neighboring Chad. Rapid Support Forces and affiliated Arab militias have repeatedly attacked the provincial capital, Genena, targeting the non-Arab Masalit community, rights groups say.

The province’s former governor, Khamis Abdalla Abkar, a Masalit, was abducted and killed last week after taking part in a TV interview and accusing Arab militias and the paramilitary force of attacking Genena. The UN and the Sudanese army blamed the Rapid Support Forces in the killing. He denied that.

Last week, Martin Griffiths, the UN’s top humanitarian official, called the situation in West Darfur a “humanitarian calamity”.

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