Sudan - 17 April 2023

Security situation update

SOS Children's Villages in Sudan has evacuated children, young people and staff to safety following fighting that erupted in Khartoum on April 15 between the Sudanese Defence Forces and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF).

Mubarak Abdelrahman, national director of SOS Children's Villages in Sudan, speaking by phone, confirmed that all the children, young people and staff are safe.  
"The SOS Children's Village in Khartoum is near the Rapid Support Forces base camp," says Mr Abdelrahman. "When the tension started, the RSF surrounded the perimeter of their base camp to secure it, including that of the SOS Children's Village. There were no hostilities towards the families.  

"We saw a very high risk to our safety when the National Defence Forces started using air forces against the RSF," says Mr Abdelrahman. "And with the SOS Children's Village in such close proximity to their base, it left us exposed.  
"We made various contacts with the Red Crescent and government bodies about supporting the evacuation process. Eventually, this morning, we got information that secure passage was possible. We rented some apartments in a secure place in two different neighbourhoods and we moved the children, young people and staff in our buses. The SOS Children's Village is now empty."
A total of 92 people were relocated: 68 children, 11 caregivers, the village director and five members of his family, and seven support staff.  
The families are sharing five rented apartments and the national team is working on trying to secure food supplies and other basics from shop owners they know. The majority of shops in Khartoum are closed. 
"The situation is very volatile. It is completely unclear when this is going to be over. The living conditions are challenging in terms of safety and the availability of electricity," adds Mr Abdelrahman.  
 SOS Children's Villages has been working in Sudan since the mid-1970s.

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