Hell in Sudan: massacre on the streets, food difficulties and a captured biological laboratory
Foreigners are waiting for the opportunity to evacuate from the capital of Sudan at the city’s international airport.
Photo: GLOBAL LOOK PRESS
So far, according to the agency Associated Press, in Khartoum and the neighboring city of Omdurman, eyewitnesses report only sporadic clashes between the military and rival “special forces” paramilitaries. Many residents of the capital left their homes in search of food and water, lining up at bakeries and food stalls. Some look at shops and houses that were destroyed or looted during the fighting. Others have joined the tens of thousands who have been trying to leave the city in recent days.
But even despite the relative calm, the sounds of gunshots and explosions are still heard in the city. Clashes are taking place in parts of Khartoum and Omdurman, mainly around the headquarters of the armed forces and authorities. Firefights were also heard in the elite district of Kafuri in North Khartoum adjacent to the capital, where many fighters from the so-called special forces opposing the authorities are stationed.
The fighting brought the population almost “to the handle.” It is becoming increasingly difficult for ordinary people to get food, electricity is cut off in the capital and other cities, and many hospitals are closed.
At the same time, in a country where, according to the most conservative estimates, approximately 13 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance, numerous agencies providing this same assistance were forced to suspend their activities. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees has said that we need to prepare for potentially tens of thousands of people to flee to neighboring countries – the Central African Republic, Chad, Egypt, Ethiopia and South Sudan.
A shot from Khartoum, engulfed in street fighting.
Photo: GLOBAL LOOK PRESS
Many Sudanese decided not to wait for a catastrophe, but to emigrate to more peaceful places. As a result, bus stations in the capital are packed with people pitching tents waiting for a place on the bus. Drivers immediately sharply increased prices for routes to the border crossing with Egypt or to the eastern city of Port Sudan on the Red Sea. Fuel prices skyrocketed.
At the Arkin border crossing leading to Egypt, crowds of people waiting to pass spent the night in the open desert.
Meanwhile, foreigners are fleeing Sudan in every possible way. On April 26, a ship with more than 1,500 people landed on the coast of Saudi Arabia. Foreign embassies are also evacuating their employees. The diplomatic missions of Great Britain, Germany, Spain, Italy, Canada, the Netherlands, Oman, the USA, Switzerland, Japan and other countries have already stopped working in Khartoum.
So far, the situation with the Russians who are stuck in Sudan remains unsettled. Russian citizens now delivered on the territory of our embassy, where there are more than a hundred people. As Ambassador Andrey Chernovol stated in an interview with the TASS agency, the diplomatic mission is provided with all the necessary medicines and food for the Russians stationed there. According to him, “so far no incidents have been recorded regarding the Russian embassy.”
Now the Foreign Ministry is working on several options for the export of our compatriots from the country, for example, through Port Sudan, but this city is located at a distance of 900 kilometers from Khartoum, so the journey will take a lot of time. At the same time, it is not so easy to buy gasoline in a war-torn country, and besides, it is necessary to provide people on the road with food.
Meanwhile, UN Secretary-General António Guterres warned that the power struggle was not only endangering the future of Sudan, but also “lighting the fuse on a bomb that could explode across borders, causing great suffering for years and setting back development for decades.”
The Secretary General cited reports of armed clashes throughout the country as an example, spoke of people fleeing their homes in the states of Blue Nile and North Kordofan, as well as in Western Darfur. Guterres’ humanitarian aide, Joyce Msuya, told the Security Council that “there are numerous reports of sexual and gender-based violence.”
On Monday, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken announced a 72-hour ceasefire that should last until Thursday evening. Many fear that the warring parties are just waiting for the foreigners who interfere with them to get out of the country in order to launch even more active and bloody battles.
In the capital, Dr. Bushra Ibnauf Suliman, a Sudanese-American doctor who headed the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Khartoum, was stabbed to death outside his home. He practiced medicine for many years in the United States, where his children live, but returned to Sudan to train doctors.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organization has expressed concern that one of the warring parties has seized control of the central health laboratory in Khartoum, which stores samples of polio, measles and cholera. Dr Nima Saeed Abid, WHO representative in Sudan, warned that after the medical staff left the laboratory and the power was cut there, it was impossible to properly manage biological materials. And this means that a new deadly infection may well begin to spread in the unrest-ridden African state.