Written by 18:52 World

Thursday Briefing: A Special Report From Sudan

My colleague Declan Walsh and the photographer Ivor Prickett spent three weeks in Sudan, where few foreign reporters have had access in the past year. Since the conflict erupted there in April 2023, millions of people have been displaced and a looming famine threatens the lives of hundreds of thousands of children.

Khartoum, the capital and one of the largest cities in Africa, has been reduced to a charred battleground. A feud between two generals has dragged Sudan into civil war and turned the city into ground zero for one of the world’s worst humanitarian disasters.

As many as 150,000 people have died since the start of the fighting, according to U.S. estimates. Nine million have been forced from their homes, making Sudan home to the largest displacement crisis on earth, the U.N. says. Another genocide now threatens Darfur, the region that became synonymous with war crimes two decades ago.

The U.N. warns that famine could kill more than 220,000 children in the coming months. If unchecked, it could rival the Ethiopian famine of the 1980s.

On the ground: In a hushed famine ward, starving babies fight for life. Every few days, one of them dies. Artillery shells soar over the Nile, smashing into hospitals and houses. The state TV station was used as a torture chamber.

What’s next: Peace talks led by the U.S. have stalled. The Sudanese state is collapsing, threatening to drag down a fragile region with it. Experts say it is a matter of time before one of its neighbors — like Chad, Eritrea or South Sudan — gets sucked in.

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Last modified: 6 June 2024
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