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The UN says more than 10 million people in Sudan have now fled their homes as war continues

GENEVA — (AP) — The number of internally displaced people in Sudan has reached more than 10 million as war drives about a quarter of the population from their homes, the U.N. migration agency told The Associated Press on Monday.

More than 2 million other people have been driven abroad, mostly to neighboring Chad, South Sudan and Egypt, International Organization for Migration spokesman Mohammedali Abunajela said. The IOM said the internally displaced include 2.8 million who fled their homes before the current war began.

“Imagine a city the size of London being displaced. That’s what it’s like, but it’s happening with the constant threat of crossfire, with famine, disease and brutal ethnic and gender-based violence,” IOM Director-General Amy Pope said in a statement.

Sudan's latest conflict began in April last year when soaring tensions between the leaders of the military and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces exploded into open fighting in the capital, Khartoum, and elsewhere in the country.

The war has wrecked Sudan, killing more than 14,000 people and wounding thousands of others, while pushing its population to the brink of famine.

Last month, the U.N. food agency warned the warring parties that there is a serious risk of widespread starvation and death in the vast western region of Darfur and elsewhere in Sudan if they don't allow in humanitarian aid.

Pope called for a unified response from the international community, saying less than one-fifth of the funds the IOM has sought for the response have been delivered.

Together, the number of refugees and internally displaced means that more than a quarter of Sudan’s population of 47 million has fled.

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Follow AP's coverage of migration issues at https://apnews.com/hub/migration

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