Sudan: Khartoum Residents Bear the Brunt of the Cost of War

Khartoum — As the fighting in Khartoum entered its 22nd day, the remaining civilians in the city described brutal conditions. Many had nearly run out of supplies, markets remained shuttered and imports were no longer entering the country.

Yousif Ahmed is a store owner and merchant in the city and described the dire situation. He said the conditions are “unstable,” that people might resort to “stealing” just to survive. “We may have to steal the day’s sustenance in the coming days, everything is gone now, we are suffering greatly from this disaster, all people may have to steal in a week,” he told VOA.

Ahmed said insecurity in the city also means that businesses have to find ways to protect their goods to avoid being targeted.

“For me, as a grocer, the situation is very bad. There are no goods, and we feel insecure because we could be looted at any moment. Some merchants now store goods in their homes.”

According to the U.N., nearly 19 million Sudanese could suffer from food insecurity because of to the conflict. Advocates said $445 million is needed to support refugees fleeing Sudan and to provide aid in the next six months.

Mohammed Hassan Abu Shama, another Khartoum resident said living conditions in the city have deteriorated dramatically.

“People have begun to store food supplies and most stores are lacking basic necessities,” he told VOA. “The price of flour is very expensive, and the price of bread has doubled. People want to travel outside Khartoum, but tickets are also expensive, whether they are in the states or outside Sudan. This war destroyed many things, we hope things will be better.”

But amid the instability, and in the absence of a functioning government and relief organizations, Sudanese in some neighborhoods of Khartoum organized voluntary civil initiatives to help alleviate the crisis for the poorest citizens.