Syrian Refugees in Sudan Face New Crisis Amid Khartoum Conflict

Fighting erupts in Khartoum, Sudan, between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces, displacing thousands, including Syrian refugees. At least 15 Syrians are killed, and hundreds flee, with many seeking evacuation assistance from "brotherly and friendly countries".

Trim Correspondents
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Syrian Refugees in Sudan Face New Crisis Amid Khartoum Conflict

Syrian Refugees in Sudan Face New Crisis Amid Khartoum Conflict

The ongoing conflict in Sudan has severely impacted the job market in Khartoum, with many businesses forced to shut down or operate under difficult conditions. The situation is particularly dire for Syrian refugees who had fled their war-torn country to Sudan, only to find themselves caught in the midst of another conflict.

Why this matters: The displacement of Syrian refugees in Sudan highlights the vulnerability of refugee communities to conflict and instability, and underscores the need for international cooperation to provide safe and durable solutions for those fleeing war and persecution. The crisis also has broader implications for regional stability and security, as it exacerbates existing humanitarian challenges and creates new ones.

Since 2014, hundreds of thousands of Syrians have escaped the civil war in Syria and moved to foreign countries, including Sudan. On April 15, fighting erupted between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces, a paramilitary group, in Khartoum, leading to widespread violence and displacement. 15 Syrians were killed in the first few days of fighting, and thousands were forced to flee their homes.

The Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been working with "brotherly and friendly countries" to assist in the evacuation process, with Saudi Arabia enabling the departure of hundreds of Syrians from Port Sudan. Tarek Alabed, a Syrian physician who lived in Khartoum, lamented, "Displacement is a word that has been haunting many Syrians of late." He added, "It was as if war finds us wherever we go."

According to the UN, 90,000 Syrian refugees lived in Khartoum and other parts of Sudan in 2021. Between 2014 and 2019, 300,000 Syrians moved to Sudan, with 200 Syrian Kurdish families reportedly living in Khartoum. Syrians were the second-largest non-Sudanese community, with 30,000 living in Sudan, exceeded only by Yemenis.

The Syrian civil war has been ongoing for over 12 years, and many Syrians have become accustomed to the sounds of mortar shells, clashes, and power cuts. However, the outbreak of violence in Khartoum on April 15 took people by surprise, and the city has been largely emptied of foreigners and Sudanese people. As of Tuesday, more than 500 people had been killed and another 4,000 wounded in the fighting, according to Sudan's health ministry.

The conflict in Khartoum has forced many Syrian refugees to flee once again, with few remaining in the city. Ayham, a Syrian who worked in foam manufacturing in Sudan, stated, "Not many Syrians remain. Most of those whom I know have left." The ongoing violence has not only disrupted the lives of Sudanese citizens but also shattered the hopes of Syrian refugees seeking a safe haven from their own country's civil war.

Key Takeaways

  • Syrian refugees in Sudan face new conflict, displacement, and uncertainty.
  • 15 Syrians killed, thousands forced to flee homes in Khartoum fighting.
  • 90,000 Syrian refugees lived in Khartoum and Sudan in 2021.
  • Conflict in Khartoum forces Syrian refugees to flee again, seeking safety.
  • International cooperation needed for safe, durable solutions for refugees.