Charity Home > SOS News > Sudan unrest: SOS Children in conflict areas

Sudan unrest: supporting families in conflict areas


Little girl in the care of SOS Children, Sudan

The recent instability in the South of Sudan is moving closer to the SOS Children’s Village Malakal, which is located in the war-torn southern region of the country. Fighting has broken out in recent weeks in the area surrounding the village, where the warring factions are attacking one another with tanks and guns.

According to Ali Mahdi, National Director of SOS Children in Sudan, the SOS Children’s Village in Malakal is not likely to become a direct target, however, since it is in close proximity to one of the areas of heavy fighting, in particular the airport at Malakal, the village and children may be at risk. Most of the fighting involves ground troops and there have so far been no air strikes in the vicinity of the SOS Children’s Village. One other danger to the village is the possibility of some of the fighters hiding in the village and taking refuge there, making it a direct target for opposition fighters.

Despite the fact that the situation in Malakal is worsening, it is unlikely that the children at the village will be evacuated to Khartoum. The insecurity in the area would make it too difficult to transport the children without compromising their security.

The village in Malakal is not at present experiencing any severe shortages of essential goods. However, according to Mr Mahdi, “The deterioration of the security situation in Malakal is affecting the life in markets, shops, schools. The government authorities are closed and that means difficulties in transferring goods to Malakal,” he said. “We had commodities such as food transferred for storage and also sent the village director some money to stock up, but we don’t know what will happen in the future.”

SOS Children will provide emergency relief for the local community, including cholera medication and emergency hospital units for the children’s hospital in Malakal. The charity already runs an emergency relief programme in the area, which will continue now despite the renewed conflict.

Renewed conflict in Darfur

children at the SOS emergency centre, Darfur

Conflict has also flared up in the unstable Darfur region of Sudan. SOS Children established an emergency relief programme in the Abu Shok Refugee Camp in Al-Fashir in 2004. The programme includes three centres that provide counselling and therapy services for the whole family as well as training for mothers and awareness sessions.

Mr Mahdi believes that even though the situation in Darfur may look bleak, it is important that SOS Children continues with the programme. The current conflict has meant psychologists and social workers at the camp have had to take shelter outside of the camp, communication is also very difficult and the Abu Shok camp is now under curfew in the evening and for their safety, people are warned against leaving the camp.

Relevant Countries: Sudan.

Schools Wikipedia Return to Schools Wikipedia Home page