Khartoum faces its most tragic days despite the ceasefire
María Martínez López / @missymml – Madrid
The Sudanese Army continues to bomb “indiscriminately” while the paramilitaries entrench themselves in churches, hospitals and schools, reports journalist Ibrahim Ali from the capital of the African country
The neighborhood of Gabra, south of Khartoum (Sudan), “was a beautiful and lively area.” Although there was no shortage of poor people, “most of the people were middle class. There were cafeterias with young people and markets and malls full. In the afternoon, the boys played soccer,” recalls Ibrahim Ali, a neighbor and journalist. Now it is a “hot spot”, controlled by the paramilitary group Rapid Support Forces (FAR), which has been fighting the Army since April 15. “Almost everyone has left and those who remain are because they can’t afford the trip.” Gasoline is twelve times more expensive than a few weeks ago. In addition to the constant fear, there is a lack of basic services such as electricity, water —with maximum temperatures of 40º—, and internet. Getting food is almost impossible, because “most of the stores have been looted” due to the lack of police presence, “and what is there is very expensive.” Crimes have also increased. “The living conditions are tragic.” Ali shares this story with Alpha and Omega as part of a job he continues to try to pull off despite poor communication and transportation issues. But, above all, “I have to hide from both the FAR and the Army. If they identify me as a journalist, they will arrest me like many colleagues.” Almost nothing changed during the ceasefire that began on May 22 and was extended for five days last Monday. The United States and Saudi Arabia, the mediators, acknowledge that it has only been partially fulfilled, but they clarify that “it allowed humanitarian aid to be delivered to approximately two million people.” In Khartoum, Ali says, “failed from the start” because of both sides. “The voice of lead is heard all the time, the fighting is continuous in many areas and the planes fly over us.” He has no news that humanitarian aid has arrived. “People are disappointed, as well as traumatized. And, some, furious with the generals Abdelfatá al Burhan and Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, Hemedti”, respective leaders of the Government and the FAR.
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