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"Watching our country burn bit by bit"*

Updated: Oct 25, 2023

On the 15th of April, 2023, a war broke out in my home country, Sudan. Two sides driven by hunger for power had left us all with nothing. Sudan's militia-the RSF-lead by Hamdan Dagalo, and the Army -led by Abdelfatah Al-Burhan, broke out in a fight for power. Bullets, bombs, and airstrikes were heard all over the capital of Sudan, Khartoum, and all of its civilians had been collateral damage to this power-driven hunger. Houses were broken into and looted, people were captured and held captive, and women were raped.

For years before this war, revolutions constantly broke out in Darfur, people had been chanting, “كل البلد دارفور" ( Kul al balad Darfur) meaning “The whole country stands by Darfur”, and with this war, unfortunately, Darfur’s state has gotten expeditiously worse, as the RSF decided to make an ethnic cleansing, and so many corpses had been piled up on the streets, victims due to their blood. Women had been kidnapped into houses in which they were consistently raped and victimized by sexual crimes for many days.

We’ve now fled our country, still in shambles, we have left everything behind and we pray and hope that we’ll come back to at least our house still intact, we pray for the people who cannot leave to safety, and that these warlords will one day sit down for these negotiations as unfortunately, I believe there is no other solution. The two sides, RSF and SAF, must sit down for negotiations to contain their power-hunger and look at the lives that have been lost due to their behavior.

With over two million citizens seeking refuge in other countries as our Sudan had become unlivable with barely any form of nutrition, electricity, or healthcare, we have used any form of transportation available to move to our neighboring countries, such as Egypt and Ethiopia.

We find ourselves in complete oblivion as to what the future holds, and can barely carry ourselves as time passes by. It’s been over five months, and the confusion still consumes me as to how one day I was at university living my usual daily routine, and here I am, working a minimum wage job trying to fend for myself, and yet I am lucky, I’ve fled, I am safe. Yet the survivor’s guilt never tends to leave my mind. My people are stuck, still losing themselves, watching our country burn bit by bit.

Over two million people are in complete and utter confusion. Emotions spur through our minds, but no words can describe what we feel, grateful and hopeful, yet ungrateful and hopeless. The mind tends to contradict itself and one good day ends with a stab in the back as the reality sets in.

The change becomes more solidified, as we move through the days, random actions trigger flashbacks, but you open your eyes, and here you are, continuing life with this heavyweight in your heart. And yet we will continue to live, praying and hoping one day we will return, we will rebuild our country, brick by brick, but we will continue to live because truly what else is there to do? I speak for myself, and for everyone, when I say, we’re genuinely so exhausted.

Testimony of. Zaina Ahmed Noah, a nineteen year old young woman who was in her second year of studying Law. She left Khartoum with her family and stayed for a few weeks in Metema, River Nile State. Her paternel family had a home there, however it was not possible to build a future in the area since most prospects for studies and work were based in the capital Khartoum. She eventually had to leave to Cairo, Egypt.

These were not the words of Zaina, they are to give context to her story.

*This is an original piece written exclusively for PeaceofSudan.Space and has not been published elsewhere.

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