Sombre end of Ramadan for Sudan colleagues

As Muslims around the world celebrated the end of the holy month of Ramadan with Eid al-Fitr, our colleagues in Sudan are grappling with the devastating impact of ongoing violence in the country.

In Darfur, our Area Manager Thomas Okedi sent a sombre message to his staff on Eid day, expressing his solidarity with them and their families amidst the untold suffering they have endured since the fighting broke out on 15 April. Despite living under intense pressure and a state of despair, Thomas praised his team's resilience and care for one another during these difficult circumstances.

“Two of our colleagues and our landlord have been our angels,” he wrote. “The trio has ensured that we have some water to drink and use, and food to eat in the house. Please stay safe wherever you are, and let's continue to be a source of strength and encouragement to each other.”

While the situation in Darfur remains uncertain, our colleague Ahmed Omer in Gedaref shared the devastating impact of the violence on Eid day in Khartoum, the country's capital.

“On the first day of Eid, Khartoum wakes up to the sounds of gunfire and bombing,” Ahmed wrote. “My family couldn't go to the mosque for Eid prayer due to the ongoing violence. No cookies or visits from family and neighbours either. They had a sleepless and terrifying night in Khartoum as thousands of troops were deployed to Khartoum just right before the nightmare.”

Ahmed Omer. Photo: private

Ahmed also highlighted the ongoing challenges facing Sudanese communities, including water and electricity shortages, as well as a lack of cash and fuel supply. But perhaps most concerning of all is the impact of the conflict on humanitarian access, with our teams unable to reach the camps where they were working and millions of people in need of aid.

“Reports of thousands fleeing Khartoum to neighbouring cities is adding to the displacement crisis throughout the country,” Ahmed noted. “It is important that the world learns that nearly seven million people reside in Khartoum.”

As we reflect on the end of Ramadan and the start of Eid al-Fitr, it is difficult not to feel the weight of the suffering our colleagues in Sudan are experiencing.

At the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), we stand in solidarity with our colleagues and the people of Sudan, and we call on all parties to prioritise the protection of civilians and ensure unrestricted access for humanitarian organisations to reach those in need.

You can read more updates from our colleagues in Sudan here.