Humanitarian Crisis in Sudan

Smoke rises from burning aircraft inside Khartoum Airport during clashes between the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces and the army in Khartoum (Reuters)

by The Rev. Anderia Arok Lual

On April 15, 2023, armed clashes erupted between the Sudan Army forces (SAF) and Rapid Support Forces (RSF) in heavily populated parts of Khartoum, and spread to other cities including in the Darfur region. Khartoum residents are struggling to provide aid to those injured during the indiscriminate firing of bullets and shells. The situation also makes it difficult to bury the dead, which could lead to an environmental disaster.

The number of civilian deaths since the beginning of the clashes reached,  more than 180 people have been killed and  about 1,800 injured in the three days of fighting in Sudan, that number is including both civilians and military personnel

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), supplies distributed to health facilities prior to the conflict are now exhausted, and many of the nine hospitals in Khartoum receiving injured civilians are reporting shortages of blood, transfusion equipment, intravenous fluids, medical supplies, and other life-saving commodities. 16 hospitals in Khartoum were out of service as some were bombed. The Royal Care Hospital may close due to the shortage of resources, and the Ibrahim Malik Hospital is affected by the interruption of generator fuel, while Al-Faisal Hospital faces a water shortage. The steering committee warned that the hospitals’ deterioration is unprecedented and could lead to the collapse of the entire health sector. Large and specialized hospitals have been forced to close due to bombing or evacuation by conflicting military forces fighting in Khartoum.

”There are also reports of shortages of specialized medical personnel, including anesthesiologists,” WHO added. The capital Khartoum, Sudan experiences water and power shortages that are affecting the functionality of health facilities. Also, shortages of fuel are impacting the hospital generators.   

 In another report, the U.S. urges the cessation of hostilities and the safety of civilians in Sudan. April 16, 2023 (WASHINGTON)—The United States Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken has urged the Chairman of Sudan’s Transitional Sovereignty Council, General Abdel Fattah Abdurrahman al-Burhan, and his deputy General Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo to take active measures to reduce tensions and ensure the safety of all civilians. 

His statement comes days after tense clashes broke out between the Sudan Armed Forced (SAF0 and Rapid Support Forces (RSF) in the capital, Khartoum, and other parts of the country more than 90 people dead, and hundreds were reported injured. “The only way forward is to return to negotiation that supports the Sudanese people’s democratic aspirations. We continue to remain in close touch with our Embassy in Khartoum and have full accountability of our personnel.”

The UK, U.S., and EU have also called for a ceasefire and talks to resolve the crisis. The United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres on Monday urged the two parts to cease military hostilities and look for dialogue. Similar calls also emerged from the African Union. And maybe the Churches should add their voices of calling for the main of the two armed should come to the table of the dialogue.

The province of the Episcopal Church of Sudan needs the international community to pray for them because of the situation they are in right now. Archbishop Ezekiel Kunda made a general appeal to the whole international community in general and to the body of Christ, particularly to listen to the suffering of the people in Sudan. They need the assistance of food, water, and medicines.

If you can donate to help the people of Sudan during this catastrophic crisis, you can do so through the Episcopal Diocese of Arizona below. When you donate, please select the fund “Sudan Humanitarian Relief Fund” These proceeds will go directly to the Episcopal churches in Khartoum to help their people.