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Sudan: war crimes and humanitarian emergency

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Sudan: war crimes and humanitarian emergency

There are almost eight million Sudanese refugees and displaced persons. An endless and increasingly serious emergency, accompanied by serious war crimes and human rights violations. But there are no ways out of the civil conflict in sight. PIME involved with refugees in Chad

More than ten months have passed since a terrible civil conflict broke out in Sudan between the forces of the regular army led by Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman al Burhan, general and head of state, and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) of general Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, better known as Hemetti. Even today, however, after thousands of deaths and an impressive number of refugees and displaced persons almost 8 million out of a population of around 50 million -, the chances of a truce still seem distant. The number of internally displaced people, in particular, has reached unprecedented levels: more than 6 million. While the exodus of many people continues, especially women and children often with nothing, towards neighboring countries, in particular Egypt, Ethiopia, South Sudan, and above all Chad, where also PIME missionaries are involved in assisting refugees in situations of serious humanitarian emergency.

In fact, the region continues to be among the areas most affected by bombings and clashes Darfur, at the center of many interests, also due to the presence of gold mines. However, it is above all the civilian population who pay the consequences, who already live in a state of extreme poverty and destitution. The lack of water and basic necessities, the terrible hygienic conditions and the almost total absence of electricity – in addition to the abuses and violence perpetrated by militiamen – continue to push civilians to leave the country. In the areas where the displaced people have gathered, there is a high risk of diseases, such as cholera (cases have in fact doubled since January), which has caused around 300 deaths, many of them children.

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The United Nations has once again launched an appeal to raise funds for humanitarian aid, and has denounced the war crimes and ethnic violence committed by both the regular army and the RSF. «Violations of human rights and international humanitarian law continue unabated.” he declared last January 17 Radhouane Nouicerexpert for Sudan of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and asked the “leaders of the two parties in conflict to put an immediate end to the violence».

PIME’s commitment in Chad

Approximately 37% of all Sudanese refugees found refuge in Chad, where they arrived around 550 thousand people on the run. PIME, through local organizations such as Caritas of Mongo, has been at the forefront since the beginning in offering aid and carrying out emergency interventions. Thanks to the presence of brother Fabio Mussiresponsible for social projects, the apostolic vicariate of Mongo and Caritas contributed to the support of around 30 thousand peopledivided into 5,800 families, of which 85% women and minors; 70% were identified among the most vulnerable categories, such as widows with dependent children, single elderly people and disabled people.

There are many stories of desperation: «Like that of Fatime – says Brother Fabio – a teenager who sells tea at the Métché market, where the refugee camp is located. She explained to us that she had seen her grandfather, her father, and two brothers killed. She, with her mother and two younger brothers, managed to hide and escape to Chad. The girl told us: “I am only 14 years old, but my heart is now old because I have seen the evil that men can do. But now I’m the big sister and I have to worry about the little ones.” In her eyes full of tears, on the one hand there was desperation and emptiness, but on the other there was also the courage to look forward with strength and confidence.”

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To help girls and women like her, brother Fabio also created a horticulture project involving many women who thus have the opportunity to produce legumes and improve the daily diet of their families and other refugees. The project provides women with all the equipment necessary to work, assists them and gives them courage to move forward despite absolutely precarious conditions.

«When faced with these situations one can be moved or remain indifferent – ​​writes Brother Mussi -. We are perfectly aware that what we do is a small thing. But it’s an important thing for these women who have lost part of their family and everything they had. And they have no other resource than their hands.”

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