Statement on ongoing attack in Al Jazirah State, Sudan

Published 17. Dec 2023
Statement by William Carter, the Norwegian Refugee Council’s country director of NRC in Sudan on ongoing attack in Al Jazirah State.

“The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) is deeply concerned about the escalating conflict at the doors of Wad Madani, the densely populated capital state of Al Jazirah, Sudan, where 700,000 people live, including 84,000 people who have sought refuge after fleeing Khartoum. 

“Wad Madani has been a place of refuge for those displaced from Khartoum, including for humanitarian and medical evacuation efforts. Now the fighting is approaching, and heavy artillery and gunfire have been heard for three days. 

“A continuous flow of people, many of them who already ran for their lives just a few months ago, are now rushing towards already heavily burdened and resource-depleted cities in neighbouring states. We are also extremely worried for highly vulnerable families in Wad Madani who have been crammed into displacement sites in schools for months and have nowhere to hide from violence, no means to escape and nowhere else to flee. 

"This is more than another city being attacked, it is one of Sudan’s few remaining sanctuaries that could be under fire. 

“We urgently call on all parties involved in the conflict to adhere to international humanitarian law, emphasizing that all feasible precautions must be taken to avoid and minimize the loss of civilian life and injuries, as well as damage to civilian objects. We also demand that all parties allow for the safe passage of individuals fleeing the conflict and the urgent delivery of lifesaving assistance.” 


Note to editors:  

  • There are more than half a million people displaced within in Al Jazirah, including 145,000 people who are crammed in public buildings, such as schools.  
  • At the time of writing, an estimated 15,000 people are now fleeing the city towards neighbouring states. 
  • About 1.9 million people are in crisis (IPC 3) and above levels of food insecurity in Al Jazirah state, according to the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC).  
  • NRC is present in Wad Madani since June 2023, and supported more than 34,000 people in the city since the war. 


For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:  

  • NRC Sudan Advocacy Manager (currently in Nairobi), Mathilde Vu:, WhatsApp +249 911 219 775 
  • NRC global media hotline:, +47 905 62 329