UN chief sends envoy over 'unprecedented' Sudan situation



Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN) Antonio Guterres is sending UN Humanitarian Affairs chief Martin Griffiths as an envoy to the Sudan region, his spokesman said Sunday.

The announcement came as the army and heavily armed paramilitaries in Khartoum continued fighting, even as a widely breached ceasefire was extended for 72 hours.

"The scale and speed of what is unfolding is unprecedented in Sudan," UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric said in a statement.

"I am on my way to the region to explore how we can bring immediate relief to the millions of people whose lives have turned upside down overnight," Griffiths said in a separate statement on Sunday.

Massive looting of humanitarian offices and warehouses had "depleted most of our supplies. We are exploring urgent ways to bring in and distribute additional supplies," he said.

More than 500 people have been killed and tens of thousands of people were forced to leave their homes for safer locations within the country or abroad since fighting erupted on April 15.

Griffiths said that families were struggling to access water, food, fuel and other commodities, with some unable to relocate due to the cost of transportation out of the worst-hit areas.

Urgent healthcare is severely constrained, raising the risk of preventable death, said Griffiths.

Five containers of intravenous fluids and other emergency supplies were docked in Port Sudan awaiting clearance by authorities, he added.