World News

Sudan conflict: A front-row seat to my country falling apart

  • By Zeinab Mohammed Salih
  • Series Letters from Africa, Sudan

Legend, A year of conflict has devastated life in large parts of Sudan

I’m not supposed to cry as a journalist when I’m covering stories, but I’ve been crying a lot lately.

Before December, on a reporting trip from my home in the Sudanese town of Omdurman – just across the river from the capital, Khartoum – the only people I saw from my window were those carrying the corpses loved ones on their shoulders.

They were looking for a space on the side of the road to bury the corpses, because going to a real cemetery was too dangerous.

The dead civilians, mostly killed by bullets and shells, are collateral damage from a war that began exactly a year ago, when Sudan’s two main militaries argued over the country’s political future, after seizing power together in a 2021 coup.

I lost many friends and acquaintances.

The hustle and bustle of my close-knit, working-class neighborhood was replaced by silence, sometimes interrupted by the sound of a military plane announcing an airstrike as the army was about to target an area controlled by rival paramilitary Support Forces fighters. rapid (RSF). band.

People were fleeing their homes for fear of being hit.

On April 15 last year, I remember looking forward to breaking the Ramadan fast in the evening with fellow journalists. I later planned to reunite with a long-lost childhood friend.

We never met and I haven’t seen him to this day. He left the country while I stayed.

I started to feel uneasy that morning when I started seeing posts on social media about RSF attacks near the town. Then I heard about clashes at the international airport. I always thought the violence would stop.

But when a third friend posted that there was fighting at the presidential palace, I knew it was war.

While many others decided to leave the city, my family and I stayed put. We hoped the war would end soon, believing that perhaps the international community would intervene to stop this madness, but the suffering of the Sudanese people was seemingly ignored.

Residents feared not only the street fighting that was taking place, but also the armed men – from both sides – who would come to loot. They stripped homes, taking everything from cars to spoons.

I returned to Omdurman but could not return home. I received reports that even its doors and windows were removed and taken away.

As the conflict continued, people began to look thinner and paler, due to lack of food and drink, as little aid was arriving in the city. The only small market in my neighborhood was hit by airstrikes as the army tried to flush out the RSF.

The remaining hospitals only treated war wounded, those suffering from other pathologies were not seen. My diabetic grandmother died because she was unable to seek treatment.

I too became very ill from lack of food.

The only functioning clinic was a 30 minute walk away.

My cousin accompanied me and I had to stop in the shade every two minutes because my energy was so exhausted.

The only doctor on call prescribed me medication that I was able to obtain through friends in Europe.

Image source, Getty Images

Legend, Civil war has forced more than eight million Sudanese from their homes

Although the situation is bad in Omdurman and Khartoum, the most affected region is the western region of Darfur, where the conflict has taken on an ethnic dimension.

I came here just over three months ago to report on what was happening following last year’s massacres in towns like Geneina, the capital of West Darfur state.

The UN said more than 10,000 people died in the city in two massacres.

People told me about ethnically motivated killings and sexual violence. They remain traumatized months later.

Everyone cries when I ask them about their experiences. I too couldn’t hold back my tears and had difficulty sleeping.

My nights were also disrupted during a trip to Fasher, the capital of North Darfur, as airstrikes hit the town at night, shaking everything and waking everyone up.

I’ve tried to tell our story but I feel like the world looks the other way. International attention is focused on Gaza and before that on Ukraine.

The international community must intervene to end this war by putting pressure on both parties and their regional supporters. Without pressure, I see no end.

It is heartbreaking to see my country collapsing, and the situation is likely to get worse, with ordinary people armed on both sides.

Read more about the year-long conflict:

News Source : www.bbc.com
Gn world

jack colman

With a penchant for words, jack began writing at an early age. As editor-in-chief of his high school newspaper, he honed his skills telling impactful stories. Smith went on to study journalism at Columbia University, where he graduated top of his class.After interning at the New York Times, jack landed a role as a news writer. Over the past decade, he has covered major events like presidential elections and natural disasters. His ability to craft compelling narratives that capture the human experience has earned him acclaim.Though writing is his passion, jack also enjoys hiking, cooking and reading historical fiction in his free time. With an eye for detail and knack for storytelling, he continues making his mark at the forefront of journalism.
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