Smoke billows in the distance as people wait next to passenger buses in Sudan's capital Khartoum


  • The United Nations estimated that 73,000 have already fled Sudan
  • Sudan's two warring military factions agreed to an extended ceasefire, but it continues to be violated
  • Foreign governments are exploring ways to extend humanitarian assistance to Sudan

The ongoing armed conflict in Sudan could result in more than 800,000 civilians fleeing the country, the United Nations refugee agency said Monday.

The clashes between Sudan's two warring military factions could result in a humanitarian disaster in the country, according to the international body.

"In consultation with all concerned governments and partners, we've arrived at a planning figure of 815,000 people that may flee into the seven neighboring countries," U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) assistant high commissioner for refugees Raouf Mazou said during a member-state briefing in Geneva, Switzerland, according to Al Jazeera.

The U.N. estimate includes 580,000 Sudanese as well as foreign refugees now living in the country.

Mazou said 73,000 have already left the country.

In a tweet, UNHCR chief Filippo Grandi said that more Sudanese will flee if the fighting continues.

"We hope it doesn't come to that, but if violence doesn't stop we will see more people forced to flee Sudan seeking safety," he wrote.

Hundreds of people have been killed, and thousands have been wounded over the 16 days since a paramilitary group and the country's army first erupted into conflict in Sudan's capital Khartoum on April 15.

The power struggle between the chief of the Sudanese army and the head of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), who shared control of the government after a 2021 coup but fell out over a planned transition to civilian rule, has resulted in significant damage to the city, Reuters reported.

It has also reignited violence in the country's Darfur region, where armed groups have looted healthcare facilities and burned households and marketplaces, sparking fears of a civil war, The New York Times reported.

Though their ceasefire was repeatedly violated, the two sides agreed Sunday to extend the truce by 72 hours. The U.N. told Reuters that the rival forces believe that the conflict cannot continue and may hold ceasefire talks in Saudi Arabia, though the body did not provide a timeline.

However, on Monday, airstrikes and artillery continued to be fired all over Khartoum and neighboring cities.

Egypt has reported welcoming about 40,000 Sudanese since the conflict began, with those who made the journey describing the conditions they had to endure as arduous.

Thousands crossed the Red Sea to Saudi Arabia on evacuation boats, while others went to Chad, South Sudan and Ethiopia.

Foreign governments with nationals in Sudan pulled their diplomatic employees and citizens out of the country over the past week, either by air, sea or land.

The U.S. government transported more than 700 of its citizens from Khartoum to the Red Sea harbor of Port Sudan via drone-escorted buses over the weekend.

Meanwhile, the British government, along with international allies and aid organizations, said that it is exploring ways to provide humanitarian assistance to Sudan after evacuating almost 2,200 people.

US military officers assist US nationals in boarding an evacuation vessel in Port Sudan amid ongoing deadly clashes between army forces and paramilitaries