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Scattered bodies in Sudan war zones have begun to decompose, raising fears of public health disaster

August 15, 2023 at 3:29 pm

Demonstrators clash with security forces as they intervene in demonstrators to prevent them from marching towards the presidential palace during demonstrations demanding the civilian rule in Sudan’s capital Khartoum on May 12, 2022 [Mahmoud Hjaj – Anadolu Agency]

Dozens of bodies, both soldiers and civilians, are scattered in the streets of Sudan, particularly in the conflict zones of Khartoum, Bahari and Omdurman, raising fears of a public health disaster, Anadolu Agency reports.

Eyewitnesses told Anadolu on Tuesday that both civilian and soldier bodies have not been buried in Khartoum due to ongoing clashes between the Sudanese Army and Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and their proximity to bombing sites.

The decomposition of these bodies has begun as they have lain in the open for days and people have been unable to take them for proper burials, increasing the danger of diseases spreading in the North African country plagued by war between the two forces since April of this year.

On Sunday, The Central Committee of Health Officers, a Sudanese non-governmental organisation, issued a warning about the environmental risks posed by decomposing corpses on the streets due to the war and its impact on health and the environment.

READ: Situation in Sudan ‘spiraling out of control’ after four months of war – UN

“There are problems affecting environmental health due to corpses remaining in their locations, especially since some of them have entered the stage of decomposition,” the Sudan Tribune website quoted head of the Central Committee of Health Officers, Hiba Al-Makki, as saying.

He urged that “this situation requires addressing them according to public health protocols in emergencies.”

Last Tuesday, the London-based humanitarian organisation, Save the Children International, reported that thousands of corpses are decomposing in Khartoum’s streets due to morgues’ inability to preserve the bodies and the impact of erratic power on cooling systems.

Intense clashes have been ongoing for over 100 days between the Army and the RSF, particularly in strategic areas around the capital and in the western part of the country.

During the conflict, which has been ongoing since April, over 3,000 people have lost their lives, tens of thousands have been injured, and approximately 4 million people have been displaced, with most of the violence concentrated around the capital.

READ: Qatar-Egypt initiative to establish hospital in Sudan