AFRICA/SUDAN - A month of war: the population is at the end of their tether and the country in chaos

Tuesday, 16 May 2023

Khartoum (Agenzia Fides) - Fighting and looting continue to hinder humanitarian groups from working to help the Sudanese population whom are exhausted after a month of armed conflict. The situation in the country does not seem to stop despite the various truce agreements agreed between the parties and quickly violated (see Fides, 8/5/2023). Agencies have focused on the evacuation of their international staff and the relocation of some national staff as well. Most Sudanese remain in the country, along with many missionary priests and nuns. Some hope things will return to normal, while others cannot leave because they do not have the money for transport or the physical ability to move.
In the current context, there seems to be no hope that an imminent political solution can be reached between the two coup generals, the federal army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and his former deputy Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, known as Hemeti, who heads the paramilitaries of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), and the population is at risk of starvation. The situationof civilians is very serious. Last week, a European Union humanitarian airlift was set up and transported its first humanitarian aid.
One month after the start of the clashes (see Fides, 17/4/2023) which has so far caused 800 civilian victims, in Khartoum alone, thousands of injuries and almost a million displaced, news arrives that on Monday, May 15, 2023, several diplomatic headquarters were attacked. After the Somali embassy, the Jordanian embassy was also attacked and looted. In recent days, the Saudi cultural center has been devastated. There have also been armed clashes near a hospital in the Bahri area, north of Khartoum. The hospital is not functioning, the sick and the staff have been evacuated since the beginning of the war. The structure, which suffered extensive damage due to the bombing of the army, is currently used by the emergency forces as a shelter and anti-aircraft defense units have been installed in its courtyard.
With Khartoum still under siege, UN agencies and international organizations are setting up new operational bases in Port Sudan, along the Red Sea, even though the city is far from many areas in need of aid. (AP) (Agenzia Fides, 16/5/2023)