While the world’s attention is currently focused on Israel’s conflict with the Palestinians in Gaza, the escalating tension between Hezbollah and the IDF, and the unprovoked attack by the powerful US on the defenseless Houthis in Yemen, it is important to remember that the war in Sudan continues to cause great suffering to its people. The refugee crisis in the country has become a significant humanitarian issue, placing a strain on neighboring countries and casting a shadow of despair over the entire region. As tens of thousands of people flee violence and instability in Sudan, the international community must recognize the urgency of the situation and develop comprehensive solutions that reduce the burden on host countries and, more importantly, provide hope and a future for refugees.
Chad is one of the countries experiencing a significant influx of Sudanese refugees, while also facing numerous internal challenges. The country has experienced a notable rise in the number of refugees and is facing challenges in providing support for the large population of displaced individuals. The arrival of a large number of refugees is placing a significant burden on Chad’s scarce resources. Other countries in the region, such as South Sudan, Egypt, Ethiopia, Libya, and the Central African Republic, have also played a significant role in providing aid to those fleeing conflict in Sudan. It is important to note that this burden is not borne by Sudan alone. The situation in Chad and neighboring countries highlights the interdependence of this regional crisis, necessitating a comprehensive international response to ease the burden faced by these states.
These countries require assistance to manage the consequences of hosting a large number of Sudanese refugees. The statistics do not fully convey the human toll of the refugee crisis in Sudan. Many families are being separated, and a significant number of children are unable to access education. Additionally, an increasing number of individuals are experiencing the trauma of displacement. In addition, refugees are at risk of disease due to inadequate medical and sanitation facilities, which worsens their already precarious situation. It is also important to note that the resettlement of refugees to relative safety in one of Sudan’s neighboring countries is often painful and difficult. Those seeking asylum face a dangerous journey, crossing treacherous terrain and enduring constant violence. This highlights the desperate circumstances that force them to leave their homes in search of safety and stability.
International organizations report that the situation in Sudan has become unbearable, with over 12,000 casualties and 7.3 million displaced persons. Political, social, and health services have collapsed. Over 24 million people, more than half of the original population of 46 million, are now in desperate need of help. Cholera, measles, dengue fever and lack of food security are spreading at an alarming rate. It is evident that if firearms and explosives do not kill Sudanese people, the Sudanese healthcare system’s collapse and lack of medicine pose a significant threat to the population’s well-being. Humanitarian relief efforts have been hindered due to increased violence and displacement. Both conflicting parties are primarily focused on using the war for their own selfish purposes.
The tragedy experienced by these refugees highlights the regional nature of the crisis. A collective and concerted international response is needed to ease the burden on host countries and to resolve the conflict that has led to such large-scale displacement. Continuation of the conflict in Sudan may lead to increased political and economic problems for countries like Chad and Egypt. The ongoing influx of refugees has the potential to significantly impact not only the economies of host countries but also their social, political, and environmental dynamics.
The protracted crisis has a far-reaching impact that extends beyond the immediate economic strain and affects various aspects of the functioning of host countries. For instance, the impacts of the situation may involve heightened competition for scarce resources. Additionally, cultural diversity may lead to social tensions, and managing large numbers of displaced people may exacerbate political pressures.
Additionally, it is important to note that the ecological landscape may be under stress due to increased resource consumption and changing demographic patterns associated with refugee settlements. Resolving the conflict in Sudan is not only a humanitarian imperative, but also a strategic necessity to prevent potential destabilization of neighboring countries. The refugee crisis in Sudan necessitates a robust and coordinated global response. A global approach is necessary to address this burden, rather than placing the responsibility solely on neighboring countries.
The international community should collaborate to provide financial, medical, and logistical aid to alleviate the burden on host countries. Furthermore, diplomatic efforts should be intensified. To end the conflict, sustainable initiatives should be implemented, while political dialogue and international mediation are necessary to curb and ultimately stop the violence that is causing Sudanese people to flee their homes.
The UN, regional organizations, and influential countries should unite to exert diplomatic pressure on all parties involved and promote a settlement.
The UN, in collaboration with the African Union, must play a crucial role in aiding Sudanese refugees by ensuring access to fundamental services, including nutrition, primary health care, mental health support, and child health services. Equally important is the assistance provided to host countries that lack the resources to effectively manage the influx of refugees. The multifaceted approach, which involves providing direct support to displaced populations and building the capacity of host countries, is essential in addressing the complex challenges posed by the refugee crisis in Sudan.
The refugee crisis in Sudan is a challenge to our collective humanity and our commitment to compassion and solidarity. It is not an isolated issue. As millions suffer, the need for immediate action becomes increasingly apparent. The international community should provide financial and diplomatic support to alleviate the burden on host countries. Only through a collaborative effort can we hope to alleviate the suffering of Sudanese refugees.
However, resolving this complex conflict still seems far off. The negotiations that have recently taken place reflect the internal conflicts within Sudan. For example, the Commander of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) in Sudan Lt-Gen Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo agreed to attend the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) summit in Entebbe, Uganda. However, the Sudanese Sovereignty Council, chaired by Sudanese Army Commander-in-Chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, declined to attend, stating that the situation in Sudan is an internal matter. These discrepancies have impeded efforts to find a peaceful resolution.
Al-Burhan and his supporters seem unwilling to accept the presence of the RSF and their attempts at power in the country by creating an image of actual or imminent victory. The ongoing fighting contradicts the expected outcome of achieving peace and stability through the army’s attacks. Al-Burhan’s suggestion to classify the RSF as a terrorist organization raises concerns about the worsening humanitarian situation for Sudanese citizens.
In the midst of the chaos, voices are raised for peace and an end to the war. The Sudanese Coordination of Civil Democratic Forces (Taqaddum) is encouraging cooperation between political forces to end the conflict. The letters were sent to various parties, including the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement, the Sudan Liberation Movement, the Communist Party, and the Baath Party. Internal movements are necessary, but Sudan also requires support from external sources, preferably from Arab countries, to prevent protracted conflict and avoid a fate similar to the tragic history of Rwanda. The international community hopes for a prompt resolution that can prevent Sudan from becoming the next pariah for millions of refugees.
Viktor Mikhin, corresponding member of RANS exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”