Thursday, January 25, 2024

Sudan: Sniper sparks a fire at Dar Mariam Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (FMA) house in Khartoum

On April 30, 2023 Archbishop Michael Didi Adgum Mangoria of Khartoum confirmed that "many people, including priests and nuns, have fled the most contested areas" of Sudan since April 15. Read more.

Report from ANS 
Dated 04 January 2024 - here is a copy in full:

Sudan – Sniper sparks a fire at the FMA house in Karthoum

(ANS – Karthoum) – The Dar Mariam house of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (FMA) in Karthoum, Sudan, was again affected by the war. In the early afternoon of Tuesday, 2 January, at around 2 pm, a sniper from one of the rebel groups involved in the war set fire to the second floor of the house. The rooms and the hall on the affected side of the floor were badly damaged. But the great help offered by the neighbours and some soldiers made it possible to put out the fire in two hours.

“No one was injured in the accident! Thank God! And may his will and his glory always prevail!" Fr Jacob Thelekkadan, an Indian Salesian missionary in the country, who has been living in the Dar Mariam house of the FMA since shortly after the outbreak of the war, commented on the matter.

Although largely forgotten by the outside world, the war in Sudan continues, involving several paramilitary factions in addition to the national army, and has already reached the 265th day of fighting, death, and destruction. With official data at a standstill last October, there are still about 10,000 victims and almost 12,000 injured, while according to information released by the United Nations International Office for Migration at the end of 2023, the conflict had caused almost 6 million internally displaced people and over 1.5 million refugees in other countries.

The Dar Mariam house of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians – which in addition to the Sisters and Fr Jacob also houses several mothers and children and a group of men, some of them elderly and sick – had already been affected by the war not even two months before this last episode: on the morning of 3 November 2023, in fact, it had been hit by a large bomb. Also in that case, serious damage resulted for several classrooms and structures of the work, but providentially only a few minor injuries.

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h/t with thanks to Sudan Tribune - January 23, 2024 

Sudan: Salesian sisters’ home damaged in ongoing war




Sudan Watch - January 20, 2024 

Sudan: Christian man killed by RSF militia. 

Baraka Parish church at Hajj Yusuf near Khartoum set on fire 

- Christian Buildings Targeted in Military Conflict in Sudan

- Sudan: Unidentified arsonists raze the Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Wad Madani, Aj Jazirah State

Sudan Watch - November 13, 2023

Missile hits Salesian Sisters' house in Khartoum Sudan

Damage at Dar Mariam Mission in Khartoum (© ACN).

Sudan Watch - July 04, 2023

Sudan: Salesian Sisters care for wounded & displaced

Over the years, a strong community of international Catholic sisters and other religious has been active in Sudan. According to Roszkowska, there have been many Catholic sisters from as far as India, El Salvador, Vietnam, South Sudan and Poland.

However, after the latest war erupted in April, only four Salesian Sisters of Don Bosco remain in Sudan. Global Sisters Report recently reported on Sr. Angelina Ebrahim Trilly Koko of the Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd saying that her congregation had already shut down several schools and hospitals serving thousands of residents and stopped pastoral work. 

On April 30, Archbishop Michael Didi Adgum Mangoria of Khartoum confirmed that "many people, including priests and nuns, have fled the most contested areas" of Sudan since April 15.


Sunday, January 21, 2024

‘No diplomatic end to Sudan’s war in sight' -Baldo

NOTE from Sudan Watch Editor: Peace meetings between Messrs Burhan and Hemeti could happen as soon as Hemeti makes his fighters leave Khartoum and move out of the residential homes and properties they've commandeered in Khartoum. It's as simple as that. Once that happens, Gen. Burhan said (many times) he will attend ceasefire and peace talks. The fact that none of it has happened proves Hemeti is not genuine in wanting peace and security for the people of Sudan. He wants Sudan and what's left of it by the time he's hauled off to the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

From Radio Dabanga
Dated Friday, 12 January 2024; 18:00 NEW YORK - here is a copy in full:

‘No diplomatic end to Sudan’s war in sight,’ warns Suliman Baldo

Map of Sudan showing areas under SAF (in red) and RSF (in yellow) control as of December 21, 2023 (Source: @ThomasVLinge via X)

As the war between the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) soon enters its ninth month, there remains no tangible end in sight to the widespread suffering endured by the country and its people. That is despite a flurry of diplomatic mediation efforts, says prominent Sudanese researcher Suliman Baldo.

In his analysis ‘Sudan’s Interminable War, published by the International Centre for Dialogue Initiatives on Tuesday, conflict resolution expert Suliman Baldo* observes that while both the SAF and the RSF “initially believed they would crush the other in days”, the conflict has dragged on into “multiple localised ethnically driven clashes beyond either party’s control”.

On the ground, the RSF has succeeded in expanding its territorial control in Darfur, Kordofan, and Khartoum, while SAF remains in control of northern, central, and eastern regions, including de-facto administrative capital Port Sudan. In December, an RSF offensive “wrestled the central Gezira state from the army’s control and threatened its presence in the White Nile and Sennar states”.

The war unmasked SAF’s ineptitude, Baldo asserts, “as its senior commanders became too steeped in grand corruption practices to pay attention to the decay of SAF as a fighting force”.

Their adversary, the RSF, is “ethnically aligned, with plunder as the main motivation of its fighters”. The paramilitary force “proved incapable of providing for the population” in El Gezira after it took over the former safe haven for those who fled Khartoum and El Obeid in the early days of the war.

At the end of December, the Wad Madani Resistance Committees lamented the deterioration of security, health and humanitarian conditions in El Gezira, continued attacks by the RSF, the lack of functional hospitals, and the ongoing waves of displacement in the state.

The region is divided over Sudan. Sudanese policy analyst Kholood Khair and civil society activist Asmahan Akam wrote in Time magazine in December that “Egypt, Iran, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia support the SAF while the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a UN Security Council member, backs the RSF in seeming violation of the body’s own arms embargo on Darfur, first enacted in 2004 and just renewed (with a yes vote from the UAE) in March 2023”.

‘No tangible solution’

The SAF, with junta leader Lt Gen Abdelfattah El Burhan at its head, conditions a ceasefire on the RSF evacuating private and residential areas. Baldo explains that this is most likely to be rejected by the latter, as it maintains a tactical advantage in doing so, especially in Khartoum where it continues to lay siege to several SAF command stations.

Whilst ongoing conflict threatens SAF’s collapse, Baldo believes, “a traffic jam of diplomatic initiatives” has yet to bring forth any sustainable nor tangible end to the conflict.

The Jeddah talks, facilitated by the US and Saudi Arabia, stalled due to belligerents’ failures to honour commitments. The United Nations (UN) “was relegated to an observer’s seat as Sudan unilaterally terminated its political mission”, whereas “offers of mediation by Russia, Turkey, and a Sudan neighbours’ initiative launched by Egypt in July failed to generate traction because the RSF declined to cooperate with any”.

By the end of 2023, the Horn of Africa Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), whose members include Djibouti, Kenya, the Sudans, Uganda, Ethiopia, Somalia and Eritrea, emerged as a lead mediator for a humanitarian ceasefire and civilian-led political negotiations.

IGAD convened in Djibouti in early December, for an extraordinary assembly session on the situation in Sudan, where members agreed to redouble efforts to achieve a peaceful resolution, including mediating head-to-head talks between El Burhan and RSF commander ‘Hemedti’.

“However, several challenges emerged in the final days of 2023 and early 2024 that risk derailing the IGAD’s role in these processes.”

Hours after the IGAD communiqué of the summit was released, the Sudanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs initially denied El Burhan’s agreement to meet with Hemedti without conditions, stating that the communiqué’s content “was not based on consensus nor legally binding.”

Baldo notes that the FA Ministry is “dominated by Islamist allies of the SAF who are most likely behind the initial rejection of the offer. El Burhan later agreed to meet with Hemedti.

Another challenge facing IGAD’s role is the official reception and hospitality received by Hemedti during his Africa tour, in which he was hosted by the heads of four IGAD member states, including chairperson Ismail Guelleh, the President of Djibouti.

“Hemedti’s reception as a visiting dignitary bestowed on him a diplomatic legitimacy that provoked the ire of the SAF, and made less likely that Burhan would agree to meet with him under the IGAD’s auspices after this slight”, the expert explained.

Last June, Sudan’s Sovereignty Council, chaired by El Burhan, declared that “Kenya is not neutral and is home to RSF rebel leaders”.

Last week, acting FA Minister Ali El Sadig announced that Sudan summoned the Kenyan ambassador to protest against the official reception of Hemedti by the Kenyan president.

* Dr Suliman Baldo is an expert in justice, human rights and conflict resolution in Africa and served as the Africa head of International Crisis group, the International Center for Transitional Justice, and has also held human rights and mediation posts in the United Nations. He has provided expert advice on human rights in Mali and Darfur and currently leads the Sudan Transparency and Policy Tracker. (Source: International Centre for Dialogue Initiatives website)

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Sudanese in El Gedaref are arming themselves ‘despite hate of Islamists’

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Sudan: Is Janjaweed RSF chief Hemeti mentally ill?

NOTE from Sudan Watch Editor: Hemeti's words seldom match his actions. In this photo he looks exhausted and dejected. The International Criminal Court must cross his mind. He has sold his soul to the Devil and will suffer forever. All he has to do for peace to begin is to order his fighters to leave Khartoum. Has he lost control? Is he suffering mental illness? RSF fighters are moving their families into homes in Khartoum they stole for themselves. 

The above copy of a Jan 16, 2024 post at X by Sudan Tribune says "Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, the Commander of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), has declared that anyone hindering Sudan's peace process is a traitor to the nation. He affirmed his intention to attend the upcoming Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) meeting, driven by his unwavering commitment to resolving Sudan's ongoing conflict."


UN presence in Sudan ‘in a precarious situation’ -IOM

"The fierce fighting between the Sudanese army and rebel RSF forces risks reaching the UN bases in the east of the country, warns the head of IOM, the UN migration agency in the country, sharing his frustration at being unable to reach the millions of civilians in desperate need of humanitarian assistance". Read more.

From UN News
Dated Wednesday, 17 January 2024 - excerpts:

UN presence in Sudan ‘in a precarious situation’, says IOM country chief
IOM 2023 IOM teams are assessing the needs of Sudanese refugees on the Chad–Sudan border

Since the fighting began in April of last year, about half a million people have fled into neighbouring South Sudan, one of the poorest countries in the world, and thousands more are expected to follow the exodus. The UN has shared reports of horrific abuse and widespread rights violations. Loaded trucks have been unable to bring aid supplies because of fierce fighting. Drivers have been beaten and extorted for money, and aid workers have been detained and killed.

Peter Kioy, the Sudan Chief of Mission for IOM, spoke to Conor Lennon from UN News from his temporary base in the eastern city of Port Sudan about the dangerous situation facing the Sudanese people and the humanitarian workers trying to support them.

© WFP/Eulalia Berlanga South Sudanese returnees arrive at the Joda border point in Upper Nile State.

Peter Kioy: The humanitarian community has no capacity to oversee or access the areas where people are fleeing to or fleeing from, which makes it really difficult for us to ensure the international protection rights that they are entitled to. The lack of humanitarian aid makes them more vulnerable. Access remains one of the key issues for the humanitarian community in Sudan; we need more secure access for humanitarian actors. Both sides agreed to allow humanitarian access during peace talks, but they are still not delivering on that.

UN News: Do you still have people on the ground?

Peter Kioy: In some areas, we don't have people because it’s too dangerous, and the humanitarian space is shrinking. Recently, the conflict reached Al Jazirah state and White Nile state, which meant that humanitarian actors had to move out. Truck drivers do not feel secure going into some of those localities to deliver aid.

IOM Thousands of people have arrived at Metema, the border town between Sudan and Ethiopia, since fighting in Sudan erupted on 15 April 2023.

UN News: How have IOM staff been affected?

Peter Kioy: A staff member was killed at the onset of the crisis, and we had to regroup around our eastern offices in Kassala, Al Qadarif and Port Sudan.

However, we don’t know for how long. The RSF have said that they’re making their way east towards Port Sudan as well. We don’t know how quickly they will advance, so we remain in a precarious situation, where we don’t know what will happen in the next two months or even the next two weeks.

For now, the situation in Port Sudan remains relatively stable and calm, but it is a probably a false calm because we’re not sure of what is happening in and around the city.

So, we remain vigilant in case we find ourselves in a similar situation to Khartoum.


UN News: Can you describe the evacuation from Khartoum in April 2023

Peter Kioy: I think it’s a situation you would not want to find yourself in again. 

It was chaotic. Bullets flying all around, people unable to move and seeking shelter under the furniture in their houses, hiding in corners and hoping that no stray bullets come through the windows.

No one expected that Khartoum would bear the brunt of the fighting, and so the necessary security measures were not in place. This made it very scary, especially for those who had family.

It was a nightmare that no one would want to live through or wish on others.

I remember that we were trying to coordinate our staff to get them to the gathering sites for the evacuation. It was difficult even in the relatively calm areas because of the number of rebel and government checkpoints. We didn’t know how the soldiers would react.

UN News: What is morale like amongst the UN teams in Port Sudan?

We have stayed behind to deliver aid, and we have the capacity, but we do not have access to the people who are in need of our support, and that has become frustrating.

There are pockets of hope. We managed, for example, to bring in cross-border support from Chad into Darfur and deliver some vital humanitarian aid. But, it still remains a challenge, and we hope that with the ongoing negotiations greater access can be granted to the humanitarian community at large.

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