Thousands Flee as Sudan Violence Enters Fifth Day, Nations Prepare for Evacuations

Troops in Sudan

In a dire escalation of violence in Sudan, thousands of residents in Khartoum have been forced to flee their homes as clashes between army units and paramilitary forces continue for a fifth day. The situation has prompted many countries to gear up for the evacuation of their citizens from the troubled nation.

Despite attempts by the United States to mediate a ceasefire between the warring factions, the violence shows no signs of abating, leaving Khartoum’s residents in a state of uncertainty and fear. Key strategic locations, including the airport and defense headquarters, remain fiercely contested by rival groups.

Amidst the escalating chaos, the US embassy in Khartoum has refrained from implementing a coordinated evacuation plan, citing the volatile security situation and the closure of airports. However, internal United Nations documents have revealed a grim picture, describing a “nightmare scenario” characterized by looting and assaults on UN staff. These conditions have made immediate evacuations impossible until the airports are once again operational.

Tragically, the violence has not spared civilians, with some UN and humanitarian workers becoming victims of sexual assault. The UN’s senior management has also come under fire for instructing staff in dangerous locations to make their own safety decisions, eliciting outrage and concern.

The ongoing fighting between army units loyal to General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) commanded by General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo (Hemedti) has sparked fears of a protracted and brutal civil war engulfing Sudan. According to the director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO), the death toll has already surpassed 270, with over 2,600 people sustaining injuries. Alarmingly, a significant number of civilian casualties have been reported outside of Khartoum, specifically in Nyala, South Darfur, al-Fashir, North Darfur, and Zalingei, Central Darfur.

Adding to the distressing developments, there have been allegations of airstrikes and intensified fighting near the international airport in Merowe, located north of Khartoum, further exacerbating the security situation in the region.

As the violence persists and casualties mount, international concern is mounting, prompting neighboring countries and global organizations to prepare for evacuations of their citizens and staff. However, with the situation on the ground remaining volatile and airport closures posing significant challenges, the prospect of a swift resolution and safe evacuation appears uncertain.