The United Nations warned on Monday that 800,000 people might flee Sudan as different military factions clashed in the capital despite an ostensible ceasefire and foreign powers halted evacuations.
Sudan’s Condition right now
Hundreds of people have been murdered and dozens have been injured in 16 days of fighting between the Sudanese army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), which erupted on April 15.
There appears to be no chance of a speedy settlement to the issue, which has caused a humanitarian disaster, devastated large swaths of Khartoum, risked attracting regional forces, and renewed fighting in the Darfur region.
Both sides agreed on Sunday to prolong a much-violated truce by 72 hours, and the United Nations informed Reuters that truce discussions could take place in Saudi Arabia.
However, air strikes and artillery fire were heard on Monday, as smoke hung over Khartoum and neighbouring cities.
Raouf Mazou, the United Nations’ deputy commissioner for refugees, said his organisation was preparing for an outflow of 815,000 people, including 580,000 Sudanese and international refugees already in the country.
According to him, 73,000 people have already fled Sudan. The makeover astounded Sudanese who ventured onto the streets.
“We saw dead bodies. The industrial area that was all looted. We saw people carrying TVs on their backs and big sacks looted from factories,” said resident Mohamed Ezzeldin.
Many people are afraid for their lives as a result of the power struggle between the army chief and the head of the RSF, who shared control of the government after a coup in 2021 but disagreed on a planned transition to civilian authority.
Tens of thousands of Sudanese have fled their homes, with some congregating at hubs like Atbara, northeast of Khartoum, to plan their escape or go for the frontiers with Egypt and Chad.
According to the health ministry, at least 528 people have been killed and 4,599 have been injured. The UN has reported a similar number of deaths, but feels the true toll is significantly higher.
Foreign nations have evacuated their citizens in a succession of air, sea, and land operations over the last week, though several countries have called it quits. Those who remain confront hardship and peril.
“I show up to work for two or three hours then I close up because it’s not safe,” said Abdelbagi, a barber in Khartoum who said he had to keep working as prices were rising.
Egypt said that 40,000 Sudanese had crossed the border, with others going to Chad, South Sudan, and Ethiopia, or crossing the Red Sea aboard evacuation boats.
Power and water supplies are unclear, there is little food or gasoline, most hospitals and clinics are closed, and rising transportation expenses make it increasingly difficult to flee.
The United Nations and other relief agencies have reduced services, though the World Food Programme announced on Monday that it would resume operations in more secure locations after personnel were murdered early in the battle.
According to Martin Griffiths, a top official for humanitarian and emergency relief concerns, the United Nations is concerned about the war’s impact on Sudan and the wider region, and has warned that the country is nearing “breaking point.”
“The scale and speed of what is unfolding in Sudan is unprecedented,” said Griffiths, who is scheduled to visit the country on Tuesday. Security guarantees are required for agencies to transport commodities to Khartoum via Port Sudan.
Victoria, a tea vendor who used to line Khartoum’s streets before the fighting began, said her children are baffled by what is going on.
“So I put my life on the line to try to work, and if God helps me, I’ll get them some food; if not, I’ll keep trying.” “However, sitting helpless and scared doesn’t help,” she explained.
Because there is so little food available, Jamila, a woman still living in Khartoum with her family, only eats one meal per day. RSF troops have stationed themselves in front of their home and refuse to leave. “The sound of fighting is in our ears all day,” she explained.
Both sides stated on Monday that they were making progress without immediately commenting on the ceasefire infractions.
The army claimed to have cut RSF’s fighting effectiveness in half and prevented it from reinforcing its positions in the city. The RSF claimed to still control key areas of Khartoum and to be repelling army troops.
Army commander General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and RSF commander General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, popularly known as Hemedti, have been pressed to enforce a ceasefire and let aid to flow through.
Despite the fact that they have nominated representatives for talks on monitoring the agreed-upon ceasefire, both are bracing for a long battle.
Burhan has stated that he will never meet with Hemedti. On Monday, the RSF leader stated that he would either hand over Burhan to court or “to the cemetery.”
The army has been fighting RSF forces in Khartoum’s residential districts. So far, fighting has seen the more agile RSF soldiers spread across the city as the better-equipped army seeks to target them primarily through air strikes from drones and war planes.
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