A total of 92 people were taken out of the danger zone: 68 children as well as staff, the village leader and his family. "Everyone is safe," Mubarak Abdelrahman, head of SOS Children's Villages in Sudan, confirmed by telephone yesterday.
Tensions had been rising for months between the military government and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) group. The military had seized power a year and a half ago and pledged to work for a free government. To date, however, there is no transition agreement.
On Saturday, April 15, the clashes finally escalated. Heavy fighting broke out, and 100 people have been killed and well over 1,000 injured. Khartoum's hospitals are completely overloaded. Many of the clinics lack medical supplies such as blood units and transfusion equipment. Most stores are closed and there are repeated power outages.
Families at the SOS Children's Village Khartoum were also in grave danger over the weekend. "Our facility is in close proximity to the RSF base camp," says Abdelrahman. "When the fighting started, the RSF sealed off the entire area, including the SOS Children's Village. While there was no hostility toward the children and staff, we were still very worried because the military attacked from the air. The children's village could have easily been hit," says Abdelrahman.
Then, on Monday, when information solidified that a safe evacuation was possible, they took immediate action. Abdelrahman says, "We rented apartments in safe neighborhoods and bused the Children's Village families there."
Currently, he says, employees are busy getting food and urgently needed goods. Abdelrahman says, "The situation in the country is very unstable. It's completely unclear what will happen next."