Sudan: One year anniversary of war

15 April 2024

After one year of conflict, the egregious damage to the country and its citizens is almost immeasurable. Much of this suffering has taken place in silence as international attention is directed elsewhere

There have been at least 140 battles and 120 cases of violence against civilians since the conflict began, leading to nearly 15,000 deaths in Sudan. Local doctors, however, dispute this figure and believe the total number of conflict-related deaths is much higher—possibly even triple this figure. This is not surprising, given the high number of Sudanese patients silently dying from a lack of access to health facilities, according to the Sudanese Doctors’ Union. From the outbreak of conflict until February 2024, there were 267 recorded attacks on the medical sector in Sudan, including the destruction of 58 medical facilities. Roughly 80% of hospitals in Sudan are inoperable

The conflict has also triggered mass displacement—the highest level of conflict- displacement in the world—with over 10 million people forced to relocate either inside or outside of the country. Over 300,000 civilians were displaced in December–January 2024 from Al-Jazeera State alone.

Conflict-induced mass displacement and a severe curb on agricultural production have led to extreme levels of food insecurity. An estimated 18 million Sudanese are facing a hunger gap; this is roughly the total population of the neighbouring country of Chad, where over half a million Sudanese refugees have fled to. Out of these 18 million, 5 million may face starvation in the months ahead. Part of this hunger gap is linked to a poor farming season. The ongoing conflict in Al-Jazeera State, once considered a bread-basket for the country, among other farming areas, has contributed to this hunger gap. Areas of cultivation declined by roughly 60% this year.

Sudan’s economy shrank by 40% in 2023 and is expected to shrink further this year. Inflation has skyrocketed to 256%—an increase of 117 percent. Exports and trade have declined by about 60% due to the closure of the airport and the suspension of most dry ports.

While the conflict is ostensibly between two warring parties—the Sudanese army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces—it is the Sudanese civilians who remain the main victims, especially women and children. In the first 8 months of the war, at least 118 people were sexually assaulted. Activists believe the actual figure is much higher. Roughly 3.7 million children, especially those living in shelters, displaced from war, currently suffer from malnutrition. Currently, 19 million children are out of school, while the army currently insists on students participating in the national exams. 

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