Connect with us

Sudan

What’s Sudan like after 15 months of war, displacement, and inhumanity?

Published

on

As Conflict Rages On, Sudan Faces a Humanitarian Catastrophe of Unprecedented Scale

The brutal war in Sudan has stretched into its 16th month, with the nation plunging deeper into chaos and despair. As forces loyal to the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) continue their violent struggle for control, the humanitarian fallout is staggering. Tens of thousands have been killed, and millions have been forced to flee their homes, making this the world’s most severe displacement crisis.

The conflict, which began in April 2023, has its roots in the power vacuum left by the ousting of President Omar al-Bashir in 2019 and a subsequent military coup in 2021. Civilian efforts to establish a stable government have been repeatedly thwarted by the warring factions, resulting in widespread instability and suffering.

Recent reports from the southeastern state of Sennar highlight the ongoing violence. The RSF’s attacks in towns such as Sinja and al-Dinder have triggered a mass exodus, with over 136,000 people fleeing since late June, according to the United Nations. Many have sought refuge in neighboring al-Gedaref and Blue Nile states, adding to the 286,000 already displaced in those areas before the latest clashes.

The situation in North Darfur is equally dire. El-Fasher, the last capital held by the Sudanese army in the Darfur region, remains a battleground. A recent attack on a market there resulted in 15 civilian deaths and 29 injuries, underscoring the relentless violence that continues to plague the region.

The scale of displacement in Sudan is unprecedented. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reports that approximately 10 million people have been forcibly displaced since the conflict began. Of these, 7.7 million are internally displaced, while over two million have fled to neighboring countries such as Egypt, Chad, the Central African Republic, and Ethiopia. The UNHCR is now expanding its refugee response plan to include Libya and Uganda, expecting to accommodate 149,000 and 55,000 refugees, respectively.

Ewan Watson, head of global communications at UNHCR, highlighted the desperate conditions driving people to flee to such perilous destinations. “It just speaks to the desperate situation and desperate decisions that people are making, that they end up in a place like Libya which is of course extremely, extremely difficult for refugees right now,” he said.

Despite the immense need, international aid agencies are struggling to provide adequate support. The UNHCR has received only 19 percent of the funds required for its refugee response, leading to severe cuts in food rations. The UN hunger monitoring system, the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC), warns that Sudan is facing the worst food crisis in its history. Approximately 755,000 people are experiencing “catastrophe” levels of hunger, with 8.5 million more at risk of severe malnutrition and death.

The IPC has issued a stark warning about the risk of famine in 14 areas, particularly in Greater Darfur, Greater Kordofan, and Al Jazirah states. If the conflict escalates further, humanitarian access will become even more restricted, and people’s ability to farm and engage in casual labor during the upcoming agricultural season will be severely hindered.

Diplomatic efforts to end the war have repeatedly failed. Recent reconciliation talks in Cairo between the Democratic Bloc, aligned with the army, and Taqaddum, accused of sympathizing with the RSF, yielded no progress as the factions refused to hold joint sessions. Neither of the primary belligerents attended the talks.

Previous attempts to broker peace, including those facilitated by Saudi and US officials in Jeddah and a UN Security Council resolution calling for a ceasefire during Ramadan, have collapsed under the weight of ongoing violence and mutual distrust. The RSF’s lack of response to SAF head Abdel Fattah al-Burhan’s demands for withdrawal from occupied provinces only exacerbates the deadlock.

As Sudan continues to spiral into deeper conflict, the international community faces a daunting challenge: how to effectively intervene and provide relief to a nation on the brink of total collapse. The human cost of this war is already staggering, and without immediate and sustained efforts to broker peace and deliver humanitarian aid, the crisis will only worsen.

Sudan

No Oil, No Food: South Sudan’s Economic Crisis Deepens Amid Pipeline Rupture

Published

on

A ruptured pipeline in Sudan devastates South Sudan’s economy, leaving citizens struggling to survive amid skyrocketing inflation and shortages.

At 75, Galiche Buwa has weathered civil wars, famines, and natural disasters, yet managed to survive thanks to her small grocery business. But now, even her modest livelihood is on the brink as South Sudan grapples with an economic crisis triggered by the rupture of a key oil pipeline in its war-torn neighbor, Sudan, back in February.

This damaged pipeline was crucial for transporting South Sudan’s crude oil to international markets, with petroleum exports traditionally constituting around 90 percent of the impoverished country’s GDP. The repercussions have been swift and severe. Inflation has soared, with the South Sudanese pound plummeting on the black market from 2,100 per U.S. dollar in March to 3,100 today. Official rates have also dropped, slipping from around 1,100 in February to nearly 1,550 this month.

“Since the 1970s up to now, I have been here, but these days we are suffering. Things are tough,” Buwa lamented as she tended to her stall at the Konyo-Konyo market in the capital, Juba. “We are unable to buy stock; things are expensive… and prices keep rising every day,” she added, explaining that she now buys supplies on credit. Wholesale price hikes have forced retail prices to follow suit, with a mug of maize she sells jumping from 800 South Sudanese pounds in March to 2,000 today.

The economic woes have not spared anyone. Teddy Aweye, a 28-year-old mother of two, describes the struggle to feed her family, now reduced to one meal a day. “You go to the market today, you get a price, and tomorrow you go back, and it’s different. I had to return home without buying anything,” Aweye told AFP. “Life is really very difficult.”

This refrain is echoed across Juba’s largest market, where traders report daily losses. Abdulwahab Okwaki, a 61-year-old butcher, sees his business in crisis. “A customer who used to buy one kilo now takes half a kilo, and the one taking half a kilo now takes a quarter. The one who was taking a quarter is not coming anymore,” he explained. Often, Okwaki loses money when he can’t sell meat before it spoils. Many fellow butchers have already quit, unable to sustain their businesses.

Higher-end businesses are also suffering. Harriet Gune, a 27-year-old entrepreneur, said her fashion boutique is losing customers. “The more you increase prices for the items in the shop, the more you scare away clients,” she said. A pair of jeans that used to cost 25,000 South Sudanese pounds in March now sells for 35,000. “We need to raise prices to get enough money to order new stock,” she added.

Even government officials aren’t spared from the financial strain. In May, Finance Minister Awow Daniel Chuang informed parliament that the government would struggle to pay salaries to lawmakers, military personnel, police, civil servants, and other officials due to a significant revenue shortfall. The country is losing about 70 percent of its oil revenues because of the pipeline rupture, which has halted exports of both Nile blend and Dar blend crude. “The production is only from Blocks 12, 14, and 58, meaning only around 30 to 35 percent of the oil is flowing,” Chuang said.

South Sudan was already in crisis before the pipeline shutdown, with fears that the long-anticipated elections, currently scheduled for December, may be delayed. Rampant corruption has drained the nation’s coffers, with the ruling elite routinely accused of plundering resources. Additionally, the country is highly susceptible to currency shocks, as it imports nearly everything, including agricultural produce.

The fighting in Sudan between the army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces since April 2023 has exacerbated the situation, killing tens of thousands, forcing millions to flee—including over 700,000 to South Sudan—and pushing Sudan to the brink of famine.

Economist and government advisor Abraham Maliet Mamer urged South Sudan to plan for its future. “Our country is suffering. We have less money, fewer services, and our security is a problem,” he said, advocating for the construction of refineries and pipelines through other nations. “Sudan will never be the same again. Until we develop alternatives… we will be having issues,” he warned.

As South Sudan grapples with these compounded crises, the ripple effects are felt by its citizens, like Buwa and Aweye, whose daily struggles underscore the broader economic and political instability. The situation demands urgent attention and innovative solutions to ensure the survival and future prosperity of this fragile nation.

Continue Reading

Sudan

Sudan’s Military Repels Assault by Paramilitary Forces in el-Fasher

Published

on

BY GUEST ESSAY:

In a tense escalation of tensions, Sudan’s military successfully repelled an attack by paramilitary forces on el-Fasher. The clash underscores the deep-seated divisions and power struggles within the country, particularly in regions like el-Fasher, where instability has been a recurring challenge.

Ethnic Cleansing Unleashed in Darfur: Sudanese Paramilitary Forces Accused of Horrific Atrocities

The assault, carried out by paramilitary forces, posed a significant threat to the stability and security of el-Fasher and its surrounding areas. Sudan’s military swiftly mobilized to counter the attack, engaging in fierce combat to defend strategic positions and safeguard civilian populations.

People eating ‘grass and peanut shells’ in Darfur, UN says, as hunger crisis engulfs war-ravaged Sudan

The precise motives behind the paramilitary assault remain unclear, but analysts suggest that it may be linked to broader political rivalries and territorial disputes within Sudan. The country has been grappling with a fragile transition to civilian rule since the ousting of longtime dictator Omar al-Bashir, with competing factions vying for influence and control.

A Deep Dive into the Roots of Sudan’s Civil War and Its Impact on Regional Stability

The clash in el-Fasher is just the latest manifestation of the simmering tensions that continue to plague Sudan, despite efforts to navigate a path towards peace and stability. The region has been beset by sporadic violence and insecurity, fueled by longstanding grievances and unresolved conflicts.

Understanding the Urgency: Why the World Must Pay Closer Attention to Sudan

As Sudan navigates the complexities of its political transition, incidents like the one in el-Fasher serve as a stark reminder of the challenges that lie ahead. The need for inclusive dialogue, reconciliation, and concerted efforts to address the root causes of instability has never been more urgent.

Sudan’s Silent Suffering: A Year into Generals’ War

In the aftermath of the clash, Sudan’s military remains on high alert, while authorities work to assess the situation and prevent further escalation. The incident underscores the imperative of finding peaceful and sustainable solutions to Sudan’s myriad challenges, lest the cycle of violence and conflict persist.

Continue Reading

Most Viewed

You cannot copy content of this page