Some 110 million people have had to flee their homes because of conflict, persecution, or human rights violations, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees says. The war in Sudan, which has displaced nearly 2 million people since April, is but the latest in a long list of crises that has led to the record-breaking figure. "It's quite an indictment on the state of our world," Filippo Grandi, who leads the U.N. refugee agency, told reporters in Geneva ahead of the publication Wednesday of UNHCR's Global Trends Report for 2022. Also Read: Record 108.4 mln people forcibly displaced by end of 2022: UNHCR Last year alone, an additional 19 million people were forcibly displaced including more than 11 million who fled Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine in what became the fastest and largest displacement of people since World War II. "We are constantly confronted with emergencies," Grandi said. Last year the agency recorded 35 emergencies, three to four times more than in previous years. "Very few make your headlines," Grandi added, arguing that the war in Sudan fell off most front pages after Western citizens were evacuated. Also Read: UN agencies warn of starvation risk in Sudan, Haiti, Burkina Faso and Mali, call for urgent aid Conflicts in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia and Myanmar were also responsible for displacing more than 1 million people within each country in 2022. The majority of the displaced globally have sought refuge within their nation's borders. One-third of them - 35 million - have fled to other countries, making them refugees, according to the UNHCR report. Most refugees are hosted by low to middle-income countries in Asia and Africa, not rich countries in Europe or North America, Grandi said. Also Read: Sudan military ruler seeks removal of UN envoy in letter to UN chief, who is 'shocked' by the demand Turkey currently hosts the most refugees with 3.8 million people, mostly Syrians who fled the civil war, followed by Iran with 3.4 million refugees, mostly Afghans. But there are also 5.7 million Ukrainian refugees scattered across countries in Europe and beyond. The number of stateless people has also risen in 2022 to 4.4 million, according to UNHCR data, but this is believed to be an underestimate. Also Read: Thousands of exhausted South Sudanese head home, fleeing brutal conflict Regarding asylum claims, the U.S. was the country to receive the most new applications in 2022 with 730,400 claims. It's also the nation with the largest backlog in its asylum system, Grandi said. "One of the things that needs to be done is reforming that asylum system so that it becomes more rapid, more efficient," he said. The United States, Spain and Canada recently announced plans to create asylum processing centers in Latin America with the goal of reducing the number of people who trek their way north to the Mexico-U.S. border. Also Read: UN: Sudan conflict displaces over 1.3 million, including some 320K to neighboring countries As the number of asylum-seekers grows, so have the challenges facing them. "We see pushbacks. We see tougher and tougher immigration or refugee admission rules. We see in many countries the criminalization of immigrants and refugees, blaming them for everything that has happened," Grandi said. Also Read: War in Ukraine, disasters left 71mn people internally displaced in 2022: Report Last week European leaders renewed financial promises to North African nations in the hopes of stemming migration across the Mediterranean while the British government insists on a so-far failed plan to ship asylum-seekers to Rwanda, something UNHCR is opposed to. But there were also some wins, Grandi said, pointing to what he described as a positive sign in the European Union's negotiations for a new migration and asylum pact, despite criticism from human rights groups. Also Read: Sudan's government declares UN envoy ‘persona non grata’ Grandi also celebrated the fact that the number of refugees resettled in 2022 doubled to 114,000 from the previous year. But he admitted this was "still a drop in the ocean."
The United States and Saudi Arabia called on warring sides in Sudan to extend a cease-fire due to expire Monday. The Sudanese army and a rival paramilitary force, battling for control of Sudan since mid-April, had agreed last week to the weeklong truce, brokered by the U.S. and the Saudis. However, the cease-fire, like others before it, did not stop the fighting in the capital of Khartoum and elsewhere in the country. In a joint statement early Sunday, the U.S. and Saudi Arabia called for an extension of the current truce which expires at 9:45 p.m. local time Monday. "While imperfect, an extension nonetheless will facilitate the delivery of urgently needed humanitarian assistance to the Sudanese people," the statement said. The statement also urged Sudan's military government and the rival Rapid Support Forces to continue negotiations. The fighting broke out in mid-April between the military and the powerful RSF. Both military chief Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan and RSF leader Gen. Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo led the 2021 coup that removed the Western-backed government of Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok. The fighting turned Khartoum and the adjacent city of Omdurman into a battleground. The clashes also spread elsewhere in the country, including the war-wracked Darfur region. The conflict has killed hundreds of people, wounded thousands and pushed the country to near collapse. It forced more than 1.3 million out of their homes to safer areas inside Sudan, or to neighboring nations. Residents reported renewed sporadic clashes Sunday in parts of Omdurman, where the army's aircraft were seen flying over the city. Fighting was also reported in al-Fasher, the provincial capital of North Darfur. The U.S.-Saudi statement came two days after Burhan demanded in a letter to the U.N. secretary-general that the U.N. envoy to his country be removed, The U.N. chief was "shocked" by the letter, a spokesman said. The envoy, Volker Perthes, has been a key mediator in Sudan, first during the country's fitful attempts to transition to democracy and then during efforts to end the current fighting. Burhan's letter came after Perthes accused the warring parties of disregarding the laws of war by attacking homes, shops, places of worship and water and electricity installations. In his briefing to the U.N. Security Council last week, Perthes blamed the leaders of the military and the RSF for the war, saying that they have chosen to "settle their unresolved conflict on the battlefield rather than at the table."
A total of 51 Bangladeshi nationals evacuated from Sudan returned home from Jeddah Airport on a Biman Bangladesh Airlines flight today (May 11, 2023). They arrived in Dhaka from Jeddah at 10:20 am via Biman Bangladesh Airlines flight BG336, according to a press release by Biman. The Bangladeshi nationals from conflict-ridden Sudan took temporary shelter in Jeddah with the help of the Bangladesh Embassy and Saudi authorities. Earlier on May 8, Biman Bangladesh Airlines brought back 136 Bangladeshi nationals -- escaping Sudan -- from Jeddah. Read more: Another 176 Bangladeshis from war-torn Sudan arrive in Jeddah Meanwhile, another 130 Bangladeshis will return home by Qatar Airlines and 238 by Biman Bangladesh Airlines from Madinah today, according to a press release from the Bangladesh Embassy in Saudi Arabia. Bangladesh is operating four chartered flights from Sudan, at its own cost, to evacuate the remaining Bangladeshi citizens to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Sudan plunged into a civil war last month that has so far claimed the lives of more than 600 people, including civilians, and displaced hundreds of thousands. Countries around the world are scrambling vessels and airplanes to evacuate their citizens from Sudan. Read More: Sudan: 25 dead in tribal fighting, as truce talks stall
Govt operating 4 chartered flights to evacuate remaining Bangladeshis from Sudan to Jeddah: Shahriar Alam
Bangladesh is operating four chartered flights from Sudan, at its own cost, to evacuate the remaining Bangladeshi citizens to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Three of the chartered flights will be operated today (May 10, 2023), while the fourth will be operated tomorrow, State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam told reporters at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday. He said the government has sent required financial support for providing food to Bangladeshis who are waiting in Sudan. Also read: Govt to provide all possible financial assistance to returnees from Sudan: Minister Once they reach Jeddah, they will fly back to Dhaka as soon as possible. On Tuesday, 136 Bangladeshi nationals arrived at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka. They were supported by IOM with air tickets through its internal emergency assistance funding mechanisms to travel from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia to Dhaka, Bangladesh with the coordinated support from Biman Bangladesh Airlines. Upon arrival the returnees were provided with meals and onward transportation allowance from the Wage Earners' Welfare Board (Tk 3,000) and IOM (Tk 2,000). Read More: Sudan conflict: 136 Bangladeshi evacuees arrive in Dhaka
At least 100 people were killed in clashes that erupted last month between armed fighters in a city in Sudan’s restive region of Darfur, according to the Sudan’s Doctors Syndicate. Hospitals were still out of service in the Darfur city of Genena and an accurate count of the wounded was still hard to make, the doctors’ union added in a statement posted on their official Facebook page late Sunday. The fighting in Genena, which broke out a few days after Sudan’s two rival generals took arms against each other in Khartoum, pointed to the possibility that conflict in the capital could spiral to other parts of the East African country. Also Read: Sudan conflict: 136 Bangladeshi evacuees arrive in Dhaka At least 481 civilians were killed in Khartoum clashes that erupted in mid-April between the military, led by Gen. Abdel Fattah Burhan, and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, led by Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, according to the same doctors’ statement. The number of the wounded among civilians has jumped to more than 2560.
A total of 136 Bangladeshi nationals, who were among those stranded in crisis-hit Sudan, arrived in Dhaka via Jeddah in Saudi Arabia on Monday (May 08, 2023), according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. A flight of Biman Bangladesh Airlines carrying the Bangladeshi nationals left Jeddah around 1am Monday and reached Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport around 10:30 am, said Seheli Sabrin, spokesperson of the Foreign Ministry. Expatriate Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Imran Ahmed welcomed the Bangladeshi nationals at the airport. Read: 135 Bangladeshi evacuees reach Jeddah from crisis-hit Sudan
Exhausted Sudanese and foreigners joined growing crowds at Sudan's main seaport Tuesday, waiting to be evacuated from the chaos-stricken nation. After more than two weeks of fighting, areas of the capital of Khartoum appear increasingly abandoned. The battle for control of Sudan erupted on April 15, after months of escalating tensions between the military, led by Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan, and a rival paramilitary group called the Rapid Support Forces, commanded by Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo. Other nations have tried to convince the two generals to stop the fighting and come to the negotiating table. The government of South Sudan, which officially split from Sudan in 2011, said Tuesday that the two rival generals have agreed in “principle” on a weeklong cease-fire starting on Thursday, and on engaging in peace talks. The statement did not elaborate on the possible venue or timing for the talks. Also Read: Sudan evacuees to return home within 72 hours of landing in KSA: Riyadh Embassy South Sudan President Salva Kiir spoke with both Burhan and Dagalo over the phone, the government said in a statement. There was no immediate comment from either the army or the paramilitary. Meanwhile, civilians were packing buses and trucks for Sudan’s northern border with Egypt. Many others headed to Port Sudan, on the country's Red Sea coast. The relative calm of the port city, from which many foreign governments have evacuated their citizens, seemed the safer option. “Much of the capital has become empty,” said Abdalla al-Fatih, a Khartoum resident who fled with his family to Port Sudan on Monday. He said they had been trapped for two weeks, and that by now, everyone on his street had left. When they arrived in Port Sudan after a 20-hour journey, they found thousands, including many women and children, camping outside the port area. Many had been in the open air for more than a week, with no food or basic services in the sweltering heat. Others crowded into mosques or hotels inside the city. Tariq Abdel-Hameed was one of around 2,000 Syrians in Port Sudan hoping to get out by sea or air. Some 200 Syrians have been evacuated since the crisis began, including 35 on Friday on a vessel bound for Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The first Damascus-bound flight was scheduled to take off later Tuesday, Abdel-Hameed said, with about 200 on board, mostly pregnant women and sick people. At the congested crossing points with Egypt, thousands of families have waited for days inside buses or sought temporary shelter in the border town of Wadi Halfa. Yusuf Abdel-Rahman, a Sudanese university student, said he and his family entered Egypt through the Ashkit border crossing late Monday. They had first gone to another crossing point, Arqin, but said it was too crowded to make the attempt. Families with children and the sick were stranded in the desert landscape with no food and water, waiting for visas which are mandatory for Sudanese men to enter Egypt, he recounted. In Khartoum, Abdel-Rahman said he had seen widespread destruction and looting. He knows many people whose homes have been commandeered by the paramilitary forces and thinks they are lucky to have left before their home was stormed. “We could have ended up dead bodies," he said. The fighting has displaced at least 334,000 people inside Sudan, and sent tens of thousands more to neighboring countries — Egypt, Chad, South Sudan, the Central African Republic and Ethiopia, according to U.N. agencies. Aid workers are increasingly concerned about lack of basic services in these areas. Between 900 and 1,000 people arrive daily at the border with Ethiopia, Paul Dillon, a spokesman for the International Organization for Migration, said at a news briefing Tuesday in Geneva. At least 20,000 people crossed into Chad, which borders the Darfur city of Genena where clashes last week killed dozens and wounded hundreds. Aleksandra Roulet-Cimpric, the Chad Country Director with the International Rescue Committee, described dire conditions for the arrivals there, many of them women and children who have no choice but to seek shelter from the heat under sparse trees. The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi warned that the number of people fleeing to neighboring countries could surpass 800,000. Early Tuesday, the sounds of explosions and gunfire echoed though many parts of Khartoum, with fierce clashes taking place around the military’s headquarters, the international airport and the Republican Palace, residents said. Warplanes were seen flying overhead, they said. The fighting continued despite the newest extension of a shaky cease-fire, meant to allow safe corridors for healthcare workers and aid agencies working in the capital. “The war never stopped,” said Atiya Abdalla Atiya, Secretary of the Sudan Doctors’ Syndicate. Morgues across the capital are filled with bodies and people are still unable to collect the dead for burial, he said. At least 447 civilians have been killed and more than 2,255 wounded since the fighting began, according to figures provided Tuesday by the Doctors’ Syndicate, which tracks civilian casualties. The Sudanese Health Ministry said it counted at least 550 people killed, including civilians and combatants, with more than 4,900 wounded as of Monday. In addition to the South Sudanese proposal, there has been other suggestions aimed at stopping the violence and avoiding a worsening humanitarian disaster. Both sides agreed to send representatives for talks that would potentially be held in Saudi Arabia, according the U.N. envoy in Sudan, Volker Perthes. The kingdom has joined the United States in pressing for a lasting cease-fire. Another proposal, put forward by Sudan's former Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok, who met this week with regional leaders and Western diplomats in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, set forward a series of five steps to help the two sides reconcile. “This war can lead to a global emergency unless halted immediately," he said. The power struggle has derailed Sudan’s efforts to restore its democratic transition, which was halted in Oct. 2021 when Burhan and Dagalo, then allies, removed Hamdok's Western-backed transitional government in a coup.
State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam on Sunday urged the Bangladesh nationals to get registered as the evacuation will begin within a couple of days with the support from Indonesia and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). “We think there are 1500 Bangladesh nationals in Sudan, and so far, 700 of them have registered,” he told reporters at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, urging the remaining Bangladesh citizens to get registered soon through available means. At first the Bangladeshi nationals will be taken to Port Sudan from Khartoum by buses on May 2, and from there they will be taken to Jeddah by ships. He mentioned that it is a twelve-hour voyage from Port Sudan to Jeddah Port to cross the Red Sea and later within next 48 hours they will be brought back to Bangladesh, mainly through Jeddah. “Instructions have been made to onboard those Bangladeshis immediately who have passports. The individuals who do not have passports will be given travel documents and they will get the next available ships as there will be several Saudi ships,” said the State Minister, thanking the Indonesia and Saudi authorities for their support. Read more: Expecting evacuation of Bangladeshis in Sudan by this month or early next month: Chief of Mission The state minister briefed the media at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the current situation in Sudan and evacuation of the Bangladesh citizens. Around 35 Bangladesh nationals safely left Sudan so far, he said. Before the meeting, he had an inter-ministerial meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with the relevant senior officials. “We hope we will be able to bring them back quickly who are already registered,” Shahriar said, adding that a representative from the Biman Bangladesh Airlines was present at the meeting. He said the national flag carrier has made preparations to bring the Bangladeshis from Jeddah and other cities, if necessary, through regular flights. Read more: Bangladeshis stranded in Sudan to be brought back via Jeddah: Foreign Ministry “They have preparations for operating special flights, too if required,” said the State Minister. The Bangladesh Embassy in Khartoum has already arranged nine buses to take the Bangladeshi nationals to Port Sudan from Khartoum and adjacent cities and a team from Bangladesh’s Consulate General in Jeddah will reach there to assist them. All the Bangladeshis, stranded in Sudan, will be taken to Port Sudan by May 2. Earlier, on April 25, State Minister Shahriar Alam said a decision had been made to evacuate Bangladeshi nationals from Sudan through other countries. “The Bangladesh Embassy in Khartoum has already started spreading this message among the Bangladeshis living there,” he wrote on Facebook. The state minister urged the Bangladeshi nationals in Sudan to follow the instructions provided by the embassy and complete registration. United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called the situation in Sudan a “catastrophic conflagration” that could engulf the whole region.
The government has taken measures to bring back Bangladeshi citizens stranded in Sudan, through Jeddah in Saudi Arabia. Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Seheli Sabrin said that at first the Bangladeshi nationals will be taken to Port Sudan from Khartoum, and from there they will be taken to Jeddah. Later, they will be brought to Bangladesh by several flights of Biman Bangladesh Airlines. The Bangladesh Embassy in Khartoum has already arranged nine buses to take the Bangladeshi nationals to Port Sudan from Khartoum and adjacent cities and a team from Bangladesh’s Consulate General in Jeddah will reach there to assist them. All the Bangladeshis, stranded in Sudan, will be taken to Port Sudan by May 2. Also read: Bangladeshis stuck in Sudan to be repatriated: MoFA The Bangladeshi nationals are likely to reach Jeddah by May 3 or May 4. Two Bangladeshi schools in Jeddah are providing food, drink, medicine and temporary accommodation for the Bangladeshi nationals being brought from Sudan. Earlier, on April 25, State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam said a decision has been made to evacuate Bangladeshi nationals from Sudan through other countries. “The Bangladesh Embassy in Khartoum has already started spreading this message among the Bangladeshis living there,” he wrote in a Facebook post on Tuesday. Read More: Heavy clashes rock Sudan’s capital despite truce extension The state minister urged the Bangladeshi nationals in Sudan to follow the instructions provided by the embassy and complete registration. Meanwhile, a number of Bangladeshi nationals were evacuated by the Royal Saudi Naval Forces. More than 420 people, including at least 291 civilians, have been killed and over 3,700 wounded since the fighting erupted between Sudanese military and the country’s largest paramilitary force last week, AP reports. United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called the situation in Sudan a “catastrophic conflagration” that could engulf the whole region. Read More: Sudan conflict: 187 more people including Bangladeshis evacuated
Chargé d'affaires at Bangladesh Mission in Sudan, Tareq Ahmed, has said the safety and security situation in the area where the Bangladesh Embassy and Bangladesh House are located, is still volatile. "Our staff were unable to get access to the embassy premises as of today," he told UNB early today. The chief of Bangladesh mission said they are organising evacuation of expatriate Bangladeshis in Sudan. Also Read: Bangladesh to evacuate nationals from Sudan through other countries: Shahriar Alam "Nothing is final though, we are expecting it to be carried out by this month or early next month. We are compiling information of our expatriates interested to be evacuated now," he said. Also Read: MoFA advisory out against travelling to Sudan Responding to a question, the envoy said all the western countries have relocated their embassy officials, but embassies of India, Pakistan, Malaysia, Indonesia and a few others, including Bangladesh, are still operational. Also Read: Sudan conflict: 91 including Bangladeshis evacuated "We, all the officials and their families, are outside capital at a safe place," he said, adding that the situation remains unpredictable in Khartoum, although they are receiving some information of some improvement in a few areas.