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Thousands scramble to leave as fighting engulfs Sudan

April 26, 2023 at 2:28 pm

A smoke rises after an intense shelling and gunfights between soldiers and gunmen from the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces in Sudan on April 21, 2023 [Ömer Erdem/Anadolu Agency]

Thousands of people are scrambling to escape Sudan as violence continues to engulf the country.

More than 420 civilians have been killed and 3,700 injured as Army Chief General Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan’s Sudanese Armed Forces and paramilitary Commander Lt. General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo’s Rapid Support Forces fight for control of the country on the streets of Khartoum.

The healthcare system is close to collapse and residents trapped in their homes amid gun battles and shelling are running out of food and water. The internet is down, there are power outages and a shortage of fuel.

Thousands of people have made the journey to the Egyptian border where they must negotiate checkpoints, armed militia and face the risk of abduction.

“The situation at the crossing is inhumane, may God help pregnant women, infants, children and the elderly.”

READ: Sudan: Syria refugee killed by militia during evacuation attempt

People who have arrived at the border describe queues of buses waiting to cross and a lack of services available for the men, women and children who have been waiting for days. Within days of people leaving, the price of bus tickets had increased ten fold.

Thousands of others have headed to Port Sudan where they are waiting to escape across the Red Sea on ferries to Saudi Arabia. Evacuees waiting to board have been told they need an exit stamp from the Sudanese passport services, which are now closed. Thousands are waiting to leave and complain that the instructions for how to do so are unclear.

One social media user warned people attempting to leave Sudan via its border with Ethiopia that there are over 2,000 people queueing to get a visa from the Ethiopian embassy in Al-Qaradif, a town in the southwest of the country close to the border.

Others have nowhere to go.

Or are too scared to leave.