The refugee crisis in Sudan

2.3 million refugees have fled from Sudan to escape the horrific civil war that has devastated the country


Rommel Salazar

A Soviet built MiG-21 fighter jet similar to the one being used by the Sudanese Air Force in the current war.

Sydney Forsyte, Staff Writer

LOS ALAMITOS, CA — 200,000 refugees are currently fleeing Sudan while one million more have been internally displaced in order to escape the devastating civil war that erupted across the state. This is creating a refugee crisis in many of the surrounding countries as they struggle to find accommodations for the many displaced people.

The current conflict in Sudan arose as a result of tensions between the paramilitary group known as the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) led by General Mohammad Hamdan Dagalo and the Sudanese Armed Forces who follow General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan that began almost twenty years ago. When the dictator Omar al-Bashir fell from power in 2019, the efforts that were being made to transition the government into a democratic civilian-led government halted. As a result, the two rival military factions began to fight with each other over the desired integration of the RSF into the regular army and the shifts in power, creating the violent conflict seen today. 

“The clashes that we’re seeing…are in part the result of these two autocratic leaders’ actions, who not only are in charge of vast armies and control much of the state’s economy, but which have also been emboldened over the last three years by being key stakeholders in the political process,”  said Ahmed Soliman, Horn of Africa researcher at British think tank Chatham House, according to NPR

The countries receiving the most refugees are Southern Sudan, Ethiopia, and Chad. It is now the largest refugee crisis in Africa. There is a lack of water available for many of these refugees, which is especially concerning considering that recent temperatures in Sudan have consistently risen above 100 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Many refugees entering South Sudan were part of the two million refugees that had fled the country just nine years earlier, when civil war had broken out in South Sudan. That conflict arose when their President Kiir had accused his former deputy, Riek Machar, and ten others of attempting to overthrow him.

“I would not have come back to South Sudan,” said 26-year-old Lina Mijok, according to Reuters. “I would have gone anywhere, but I had no choice.” 

On May 4, 2023, UNHCR declared that it will require 445 million dollars in order to support the 860,000 refugees they are expecting to support within the countries surrounding Sudan. Unfortunately, there is a lack of food and medical supplies for these refugees, many of whom are arriving injured.

U.S. citizens who wish to help Sudanese refugees can make a contribution to UNHCR, which will fund supplies and resources for refugees from around the world, including those from Sudan. Donate today to help relieve those tragically affected by this crisis.