Displaced people in Sudan subsist in appalling conditions: UN official

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Refugees from Blue Nile State cross into Western Ethiopia with all they need for a long exile. Credit: UNHCR/K.G. Egziabher

Hundreds of thousands of people displaced by fighting between government forces and armed rebels in the South Kordofan and Blue Nile States of Sudan are subsisting in appalling conditions.

That's what John Ging, the Director of Operations for the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) told the Security Council on Tuesday.

He later told reporters that there are 900,000 people who have been displaced, fled or in severe humanitarian need in South Kordofan and Blue Nile States.

"Part of our problem as the United Nations is that we don't have access to help them where they are but also to even fully understand their plight. We, of course, receive them as refugees. We hear their stories. We see their physical state. We hear incredibly disturbing stories from them about how they are affected by the conflict by not having the food or the medical support that they need and just the appalling conditions in which they are subsisting." (Duration: 29")

John Ging says there are efforts by the African Union and the League of Arab States to get the government of Sudan and the armed rebels to allow humanitarian workers access to the people in need.

However, he adds, those efforts have so far not succeeded and warns that if a solution to this problem is not found, more people will die in the two states.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration: 1'19"

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