50K+ displaced, families endure ‘near-siege conditions’ in South Kordofan

Over 50,000 individuals have been forcibly displaced from Kadugli, the capital of South Kordofan state, as reported by Save The Children on Friday. It is stated by the organisation that children and families residing in what are described as “near-siege conditions”, have exhausted emergency food provisions, and are currently encountering restricted access to both medical services and major roadways. Save The Children’s personnel have conveyed their inability to deliver sufficient aid owing to ongoing hostilities.

The organisation warns of the “extremely volatile” situation across South Kordofan, with roads connecting Khartoum to Kordofan remaining blocked, limiting the movement of essential humanitarian supplies. “Roadblocks have created a siege-like situation, with food stocks in Kadugli Town fully depleted, and attempts to bring in more supplies failing.”, the London-based international organisation warned in its press release on Friday.

Save The Children expressed its concerns regarding the growing number of displaced people in the town. “Many of the displaced families have fled with nothing but the clothes on their backs. Some of the families had only recently arrived in Kadugli having previously fled Khartoum, only to find themselves on the move for a second time.”

According to the press statement, an estimated 160,000 displaced people lived in Kadugli prior to the recent attacks which escalated on August 14. An estimated 100,000 required humanitarian assistance even before the conflict.

“Most of the movements in the town are of people fleeing the Hajr El Mak neighbourhood and going to the El Radaif neighbourhood. At present, many of the displaced families are now sheltering in schools.”

Dr Arif Noor, Save The Children’s Country Director in Sudan, pointed towards the extent of the issue. “As fighting escalates, it is only going to become increasingly difficult for families to leave Kadugli, and for humanitarians to reach them. In many ways the town is under siege, as food stocks have totally run out and there is no way to replenish them. Those who remain and are injured will not get the medical treatment they need to survive. There is a very real risk that children will start dying from hunger.”

Kadugli witnessed recent clashes last Wednesday which continued till Sunday, with a number of army soldiers and rebel fighters killed in an attack by the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement- north in South Kordofan.

Most residents of neighbourhoods in the firing line have fled. “Those living in areas further away from army bases slowly returned to their homes this week. Many others still remain displaced,” the source added.

Dr. Noor called for urgent international intervention and their recognition of the magnitude of the Sudanese conflict and urged for the appropriate measures to be taken.

The charity head stressed the escalating nature of the conflict, highlighting the inadequacy of the current international response, and added that “basic necessities such as food, water, shelter, medical supplies, and child protection support are desperately required.

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