Situation in Sudan worsening fast

Smoke rising from Khartoum, May 27 (Abd Almohimen Sayed)


The situation in Sudan is deteriorating rapidly. At the borders, people are suffering. The Sudanese Red Crescent Society announced the suspension of its activities and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCR) has called on both parties to respect international humanitarian law.

Ahmed Bakheet, Minister of Social Development and Chair of the Committee of Handling Humanitarian Conditions in Sudan, told Radio Dabanga yesterday that the security situation is worsening at the Sudan-Chad border: “efforts are needed and we contacted UN agencies to secure the road that connects El Geneina in West Darfur to Adré in Chad.”

According to the UN, more than a third of the Chadian population need humanitarian assistance and before the current flux the country already hosted 400,000 Sudanese refugees.

At the main Egyptian border crossing, the situation is also deteriorating, “Egypt has a new policy requiring all Sudanese entering the country to obtain visas,” Bakheet added.

The move reverses a policy exempting women and children from acquiring a visa prior to entry.

West Darfur

The minister said that the humanitarian situation in West Darfur is catastrophic, “we do not know what exactly is happening in El Geneina because telecommunications are down.

“There is currently a UN delegation in the city to collect information about the necessities of the people,” he added.

“Due to the intensifying fighting, we agreed with the UN that aid will be delivered to the city through Abéché in Chad.”

Bakheet accused the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) of stealing humanitarian aid cargo. “They are hijacking aid lorries, distributing what they steal to people, and claim that they are the ones who provide this aid.”

Dire situation

In Khartoum, the Sudanese Red Crescent Society announced the suspension of its activities due to the intense clashes between the army and the RSF.

Media coordinator Haisam Ibrahim told Radio Dabanga yesterday that “the intensity of the battles prevents movement, but we will return soon”.

The spokesperson for the UN Refugees Agency (UNHCR), Jeremy Laurence, said in statement on Friday that “we are concerned by the continued devastating impact of the fighting in Sudan. This week alone, an attack struck a busy livestock market in the capital Khartoum and left at least eight people dead.”

“This air strike was allegedly carried out by the army and on the same day a child was reportedly killed after a shell hit his family home,” Laurence added.

“We are also concerned by reports of sexual violence. Since the fighting began, our Office has received credible reports of 12 incidents of sexual violence, against at least 37 women. In at least three incidents, the victims were young girls. “

He called on both parties to stop the fighting and respect international human rights law. “They must also ensure that all violations are effectively and independently investigated and those responsible are held accountable.”

Radio Dabanga reported on Wednesday about an increase in sexual harassment and rapes in various parts of the country.