After a month of war, 25 million Sudanese are in need of humanitarian aid

The war continues to wreak havoc on Sudan and deepen the crisis the African country was already suffering from. Prior to April 15, when conflict broke out between the army and paramilitary forces, a third of the population suffered from starvation. After a month of violence, the balance is almost off A thousand dead and more than a million displacedincluding 250,000 refugees.

To help the millions of people in Sudan and the hundreds of thousands who have fled to neighboring countries, the United Nations has requested 2.765 billion euros. “Currently, 25 million people, more than half of Sudan’s population, are in need of humanitarian assistance and protection,” says the UN’s chief of humanitarian affairs, Ramesh Rajasingham.

What a little help stolen. Doctors Without Borders has denounced the entry last Tuesday of armed men into its warehouses in the country’s capital to loot at least two vehicles full of supplies. Then go save the Children He also warned of the situation of millions of children who are deprived of vital treatment because armed groups occupy health facilities and rob supplies.

According to the NGO, over the weekend in El Geneina, West Darfur, three primary health care centers for the displaced were looted and emptied of supplies. Earlier this week, armed groups expelled eight people who were receiving oxygen at a health center in Khartoum using the center as a base; Patients have been able to reach safety in other hospitals.

In Khartoum, a city of five million, those who did not flee are trapped in their homes, forced to ration and penniless because the banks are closed. The agro-food industry has weakened after 20 years of blockade under a dictatorship Omar al-BashirOverthrown in 2019, it has been bombed, as have homes, hospitals, and institutions in Khartoum and other cities. The Samil factory, which produced 60% of the food treats for children suffering from serious nutritional deficiencies, according to UNICEF, has gone up in smoke.

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There is no way out of the conflict

Despite the chaos prevailing in Khartoum and the Darfur region on the border with Chad, where fighting mixes between tribes and armed civilians, it seems that negotiations for a humanitarian truce will not progress. “We have to ask these generals to stop this nonsense,” said Kenyan President William Ruto, referring to the army general. Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan and Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, commander of the paramilitary forces Rapid Support Forces (Reporters Without Borders).

While meeting in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, representatives of the parties to the conflict are trying to chart humanitarian corridors to allow civilians to exit and provide assistance, but they are making no progress. The Arab League summit will be held next Friday, and the diplomatic officials in Egypt and Sudan support the cease-fire.

Arab countries are deeply divided over Sudan: Egypt is an ally of General Burhan, the United Arab Emirates supports General Dagalo, and Saudi Arabia has relations with both sides. As diplomatic efforts continue, neighboring countries fear contagion from conflict. According to the Rift Valley Institute, “It is hard to imagine how the generals could be forced to stop the violence.”

Food is scarce. A man walks past empty shelves in a supermarket in Khartoum on May 18, 2023.


The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) stressed that the army and the Rapid Support Forces are “responsible for any atrocity that occurs in the country” and warned military commanders from both factions that they would be held accountable for actions within the framework of a war.

The hostilities broke out in the context of rising tensions over the integration of the Rapid Support Forces into the armed forces, a key part of an agreement signed in December to create a new civilian government and reinvigorate an open transition after the ouster in 2019 of the then president, Omar Hassan al-Bashir, who was hurt by the coup. in October 2021, which ousted the unity prime minister, Abdalla Hamdok.

Rush to gold

In the war in Sudan, the generals not only have their own forces, but they also have them mercenariesPrivate guards, tribal fighters, and foreign trainers, driven by greed and lured by gold. For decades, turning to militias has been a lucrative business in the African country. Sometimes they are commissioned by the government to suppress ethnic minorities and armed movements, or paid for their services on overseas battlefields.

The RSF led by Dagalo, nicknamed “Hemedti”, has already intervened in the Sudanese region of Darfur, Mali, Libya, the Central African Republic or Russia. And for a while, these fearsome paramilitaries also fought in Yemen, supporting Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Libya, and elsewhere in the Sahel. Now that the war is taking place on their land, the RSF is posting videos on social media of fighters expressing support for them in Chad or Niger.

A woman walks in a street in Khartoum on May 18, 2023 as violence continues between Sudanese generals.

France Press agency

According to the head of the Sudanese army, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, there are “mercenaries from Chad, the Central African Republic and Niger” fighting in the ranks of the enemy forces. Volker BerthesThe UN envoy to Sudan stated that “the number of mercenaries coming from Mali, Chad and Niger to support the Rapid Support Forces is not insignificant.”

Andreas told AFP that the Dagolo family owns a large part of the gold mines in Sudan, which is the third largest producer in Africa, so Hemeti can “pay their salaries, as few people in sub-Saharan Africa or the Sahel can.” affiliate King’s College London.

Chad, to the west, is a natural extension of the Hemedti, of the Rizeigat tribe in Darfur. Threatened by drought, farmers and ranchers don’t care about official borders. Most of the militia leaders, including Hemedti, are of Chadian origin.

For Sudan expert Alex de Waal, “the RSF is now a transnational private mercenary company,” “a gold mining and selling operator,” and “the armed wing of Hemedti’s business empire,” reads an article in the London Review of Books.

There are also other foreign mercenaries in Sudan, such as those from the Russian Wagner Group, who support the RSF. since Central African Republic And Western diplomats say, after they called in these Russian fighters in 2018 to put down a rebellion, that there are groups of Russian mercenaries at Khartoum airport and hotels. Sudan serves as a base, but also as a source of funding for Wagner. And the Daglo family’s gold miners signed contracts with frontmen for Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin, according to the US Treasury Department.

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