Sudan war legacy of rape, murder, hunger


Anjali Sharma

GG News Bureau
UN humanitarian relief office head in Sudan Justin Brady on Friday said that rape, murder, hunger is the legacy of Sudan war.

Sudan devastating war one year ago left 15,000 dead, 8 million civilians on the run, 25 million in dire need of assistance and warnings from humanitarians about famine, aid blockades and a growing list of atrocities on all sides.

Justin Brady said that suffering is growing too and is likely to get worse.

“Without more resources, not only will we not be able to stop a famine, we’re not going to be help able to help basically anybody,” he said.

“Most of the rations that people receive from WFP are cut in half so we can’t strip more off the bone to try and make this operation work.”

The grim conditions on the ground hit an emergency level soon after the rival Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces launched air and ground attacks in mid-April 2023, he said.

The violence continues to surge across the country today, from the capital, Khartoum, and spiraling outwards.

Our biggest concerns are around the conflict areas in Khartoum itself and the Darfur states,” he said from Port Sudan, where humanitarian efforts are continuing to get lifesaving aid to those most in need.

The entire aid community was forced to relocate from the capital just a few weeks into the fighting due to the dire security situation.

Mr. Brady said that famine alert shows that almost 18 million Sudanese are facing acute hunger, the $2.7 billion response plan for 2024 is only six per cent funded.

“It’s very bad, but I don’t think we’re at the bottom,” he said.

He described that conditions were bad even before the war, stemming back to the coup of 2021, with a drowning economy amid startling waves of ethnic-based violence.

The humanitarian supplies are available in Port Sudan, the key challenge is securing safe access to affected populations, currently stymied by looted aid warehouses and crippling bureaucratic impediments, insecurity and total communications shutdowns.

Sudan is referred to as a forgotten crisis,” he said, “but I question how many knew about it to be able to forget about it.”

Media reported that one child is dying every two hours from malnutrition in the Zamzam displacement camp in North Darfur.

Jill Lawler, chief of field operations in Sudan for the UNICEF said 24 million children have been exposed to conflict and a staggering 730,000 children are severely acutely malnourished.

“Children should not have to be experiencing this, hearing bombs go off or being displaced multiple times” in a “conflict that just needs to end”, she said.

She described the first UN aid mission to Omdurman, Sudan’s second largest city.

Over 19 million children have been out of school, and many young people can also be seen carrying arms, reflecting reports that children continued to face forced recruitment by armed groups.

She said women and girls who have been raped in the first months of the war are now delivering babies. Some are too weak to nurse their infants.

Ms. Lawler said “One mother in particular was treating her three-month-old little son, and she unfortunately did not have the resources to provide milk for her little son, so had resorted to goat milk, which led to a case of diarrhoea.”

The infant was one of the “lucky few” able to get treatment as millions of others lack access to care, she said.

Sudanese who had fled to other countries, those who are internally displaced and some who are recording the ongoing suffering shared their perspectives.

UN Security Council called for a ceasefire during the holy month of Ramadan, which ended last week, the fighting continues, Mr. Brady said.

We need the international community to get off the sidelines and to engage the two parties and to bring them to the table because this conflict is a nightmare for the Sudanese people,” he said.

He stressed that a famine prevention plan is in the works leading up to a pledging conference for sorely needed funds, to be held in Paris on Monday, the day the war will enter its second year.

Mr. Brady echoed the call of aid agencies for the Sudanese people caught in the crossfire, the nightmare needs to end now.

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