Sudanese comedian Warrag Omar selling pastries in Addis Ababa, February 9 (Photo: Ashraf Abdelaziz / RD)

A compact digest of the past week’s most-read highlights, from the heart of Sudan. Subscribe to receive this digest weekly in your inbox.

Sudanese actor now selling pastries in Addis Ababa
13/02/2024 – ADDIS ABABA. Sudanese comedian Warrag Omar, who arrived in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa after fleeing his home in Khartoum, refused to sit idle and successfully began selling pastries in the city. “When we discovered that we were facing a fait accompli, that the war would continue for a long time, I thought about ways of [securing a] livelihood, because we were almost out of money,” he told Radio Dabanga in an interview.
Warrag Omar fled Khartoum last year when “the bullets at the beginning of this absurd war had punctured all the windows of the neighbourhood”. Via Merowe in Northern State, he reached Addis Ababa. Here, the “shop is not only tea and pastries. It has become an extensive meeting place for Sudanese refugees here in the city,” he said, and “many Ethiopian artists join us here”. With his livelihood “kind of secured”, Warrag Omar has set up a charity fund to help out other Sudanese.

Sudanese refugees face dire hardship in South Sudan camps
18/02/2024 – GOROM CAMP, JUBA. Sudanese refugees in the Gorom camp, west of Juba in South Sudan, suffer from deteriorating conditions and difficulties in the camp. An activist told Dabanga on Friday that the camp lacks even the most basic of services. She said that the people in the camp are struggling to obtain food. “Aid organisations spend $8 per month per person, but as everything is very expensive here, this is only enough for one meal a day.”
Those with chronic health conditions suffer severely as health services are almost non-existent. The medical centre at the camp is meant to serve 2,000 people, while the camp now houses more than 18,000 refugees. According to the Displacement Tracking Matrix of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), 542,199 people had fled to South Sudan during the war by February 4.

Sudanese killed and raped in Ethiopian refugee camps
20/02/2024 – AMHARA. Two Sudanese people were killed and six raped in Kumer refugee camp in Ethiopia recently, while others were robbed and kidnapped. Hundreds of refugees have reportedly been struggling to get food, water, and shelter.
Food kitchens halt in Khartoum North as people die of hunger
20/02/2024 – KHARTOUM NORTH. The Khartoum North Emergency Room has announced the suspension of all community kitchens operating in the city and multiple deaths in Khartoum state due to hunger in the last few weeks.
Communications blackout continues in large parts of Sudan
19/02/2024 – PORT SUDAN. The total telecommunications and internet blackout continues in large parts of Sudan. The outages are causing a severe cash crisis. The managing director of Zain Sudan confirmed to Dabanga that the company’s services have been cut by the Rapid Support Forces (RSF).
Sudanese legal expert: hindering access to aid is crime against humanity
19/02/2024 – WASHINGTON / GENEVA. Relief provision seems to have become a new weapon in Sudan’s war. International law expert Motasim Ali explained that denying humanitarian aid is considered a crime against humanity.  Over a third of Sudan’s  population faces acute hunger.
‘Miserable conditions’ for Sudanese in Libya
16/02/2024 – KUFRA. An influx of Sudanese refugees fleeing to Libya via the southeastern Kufra crossing has prompted warnings of an impending humanitarian disaster.
Sudan army and RSF ‘will continue fighting until victory’
13/02/2024 – KHARTOUM / BABANOUSA / WASHINGTON DC. Battles between the SAF and RSF continued in Khartoum state and West Kordofan. The SAF denied rumours of a coup within the army, while the RSF said it will step up its operations. The US Ambassador to the United Nations has called for an immediate ceasefire.
Satellite internet surges in Sudan
08/02/2024 – NYALA. Unreliable or non-existent internet and communication connections, which have plagued Sudan and Darfur since the outbreak of the war, have prompted a proliferation of Starlink satellite receivers across Sudan after the technology became available in August last year.
SAF-RSF ‘agree to UN-mediated Sudan aid talks’
08/02/2024 – GENEVA. United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Martin Griffiths said that the SAF and the paramilitary RSF agreed to meet in Switzerland to discuss humanitarian access in Sudan, but added that he is “still waiting for the actual meeting to happen”.
MSF: Darfur displaced in ‘catastrophic’ humanitarian conditions
06/02/2024 – ZAMZAM / NYALA / HAMIDIYA / KHAMSA DAGAYEG / HASAHEISA. Zamzam camp in North Darfur is in a “catastrophic situation” as the security and humanitarian situation in Central Darfur “continues to deteriorate,” Médecins Sans Frontières report. The camps administration in South Darfur expressed great concern about “the catastrophic and terrible humanitarian situation”.
Sudan communications blackout widens amid accusations
05/02/2024 – PORT SUDAN. The Sudani and MTN telecommunication and Internet networks continued to be cut off across the country for the second day. Nearly two-thirds of the country’s population is currently unreachable. Zain network went out of service in Port Sudan, Red Sea state. Supporters of the warring SAF and the RSF are exchanging accusations over who is behind the cuts.