Eight months on: Violence Escalates in Sudan and Millions Displaced
Sudan’s volatile political and social landscape is once again marred by violent conflict, leading to the secondary displacement of hundreds of thousands of people.
There are now concerns that Darfur is returning to the years of brutal fighting and increasing atrocities, including Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV), witnessed two decades ago that left some 300,000 people dead and millions of others displaced.
The strained situation has recently been further exacerbated by ongoing clashes and a dire humanitarian crisis in Al Gezira State, adding to the already unstable environment.
Ongoing Clashes and Unstable Situation in Al Gazira State
On 15 December between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) near Wad Medani, the capital of Al Gezira State, southeast of Khartoum. The fighting involved airstrikes in different parts of Wad Medani and nearby Alsharfa Barakat village since 15 December. Gunfire was also reported daily in various locations in and around Wad Medani. As of 18 December, RSF has reportedly entered Wad Medani city and neighbouring towns. Wad Medani has been a critical location for humanitarian operations since the outbreak of violence in April this year between SAF and RSF. This includes storing large amounts of supplies for the response in the state and Khartoum when possible.
An estimated 5.9 million people live in Al Gezira State. And since the escalation of the conflict in Sudan on 15 April, half a million people, mainly from Khartoum, have fled to Al Gezira, with a large number seeking refuge in the state capital, Wad Madani.
An account from a partner in Kassala:
“The influx of internally displaced persons (IDPs) into Kassala continues at an alarming rate, with a significant number arriving daily. Many of these individuals intend to stay in Kassala with their relatives, while others will seek refuge in IDP gathering points. Many plan to continue their displacement journey to other parts of Sudan (Atbara, Port Sudan and Northern state). The situation remains dire, and the efforts of the emergency response teams in Kassala and Sinnar have been commendable.”
Escalation of Conflict and Displacement
Over the past few months, Sudan has experienced an alarming escalation of violence. As violence intensifies, the civilian population is bearing the brunt of the conflict. Reports estimate that almost 7 million people have been displaced from their homes, with many forced to seek refuge in neighbouring countries or stranded within Sudan’s borders. The displacement crisis is stretching resources thin, exacerbating the already dire humanitarian needs in the region.
Humanitarian Crisis and Aid Shortages
The violent conflict in Sudan has had devastating consequences for the civilian population, with millions left vulnerable and in urgent need of assistance. Access to basic services such as healthcare, food, clean water, and sanitation remains severely limited. Displaced individuals face additional hardships, with many lacking shelter and adequate protection.
Non-governmental organizations and humanitarian agencies are stretched to their limits in their efforts to provide aid to the affected population. Limited access to conflict zones, funding shortages, and insecurity hamper their ability to reach those in dire need. Urgent international support and funding are required to address the growing humanitarian crisis before it spirals further out of control.
Sudan finds itself embroiled in a vicious cycle of violent conflict, with the recent escalation exacerbating the displacement crisis and raising serious concerns over a return to the brutal fighting seen in Darfur. The ongoing clashes and unstable situation in ten of Sudan’s 18 states further emphasize the urgent need for international intervention and support. As violence continues to threaten the lives and well-being of civilians, the global community must act swiftly to prevent further escalation and alleviate the dire humanitarian crisis.
Additional sources of information
Shabaka: » Humanitarian needs and gaps in Al Gazira State – SCCU Publication #6 (sudanccu.org)
Beam Reports: «العفو الدولية»: امتداد الحرب إلى ود مدني يخلق المزيد من المخاوف على حياة المدنيين – Beam Reports | بيــم ريبـورتس
UNOCHA: RSF paramilitary seizes control of Wad Madani, Sudan’s second city | Sudan | The Guardian
The Guardian: RSF paramilitary seizes control of Wad Madani, Sudan’s second city | Sudan | The Guardian
UN News Brief: World News in Brief: WFP forced to halt some food aid in Sudan, DR Congo elections, peacekeeping chief visits CAR | UN News
An introduction to the SCCU
Podcast series with Senior Coordinator Sara Abbas introducing the objectives of the SCCU, followed by conversations with Data Analyst Rania Amin addressing the challenges of humanitarian response in Sudan and the importance of coordination and localising efforts.