If you are planning a visit to Sudan, it is crucial to be aware of the current situation in the country. Reports suggest that Sudan is at risk of civil war, with tensions escalating between factions. The government is experiencing political unrest and ongoing conflict. While some efforts have been made toward peace negotiations, violence and instability continue to plague the region.
Unfortunately, this has resulted in travelers being stranded in the country. The situation in Sudan has caused many tourists and workers to be forsaken, with limited options for leaving the country. Some have reported difficulty getting flights out of the country, while others are stuck in remote areas with limited resource access. If you know anybody stranded in Sudan, they must prioritize their safety now.
It is also advisable to contact local authorities or consulates for assistance. To receive updates and further information, U.S. citizens in Sudan should submit a crisis intake form which can be found here.
The Sudanese crisis
The ongoing armed conflict in Sudan between two warring generals could potentially escalate into a civil war, putting the country’s Christian minorities at risk. The conflict began due to negotiations breaking down over integrating the two forces, intended to restore civilian rule. The battle has resulted in refugees crossing borders, and the UN predicts that 800,000 people will flee Sudan by the end of the year if it continues.
These two generals are battling to control Sudan’s capital Khartoum, with one responsible for genocide against Christians in South Sudan. As a result, Christians are at risk, with some churches being burned or attacked. The generals have previously agreed to a seven-day truce and peace talks, but it remains to be seen whether this will lead to a resolution.
The Sudanese civil war is marked by a lack of the rule of law and a “winner take all” mentality where different groups compete to control the country’s resources. Christians in Sudan face persecution and social hostility from the government and society due to strict Sharia laws and bias against non-Muslims. As a result, many Christians have left or been killed, and those who remain are vulnerable to attacks and discrimination. The international community should pressure a ceasefire to alleviate the people’s suffering, but the situation remains unstable.
Casualty and effects
The Civil War in Sudan between the Army and the paramilitary group called the rapid support forces (RSF) has caused over 500 deaths and more than 4,000 injuries. Hospitals have been shelled, and food supplies to 50,000 children in Western Darfur have been disrupted. Since the fighting erupted, thousands of Sudanese refugees have crossed borders into Egypt, South Sudan, Ethiopia, and the Central African Republic. The future looks bleak, with both sides disregarding the laws and norms of war.
Potential war breakout
This could become a civil war, as a ceasefire failed and fighting intensified. This has resulted in thousands of displaced people and countries evacuating their citizens. The conflict began in April and has disrupted plans for a power-sharing government. The clashes have also caused shortages of necessities and an Internet blackout. In addition, Sudan’s strategic location and resources make it a coveted country for China and Russia, raising concerns about a potential proxy war.
Tips for your travel
It is recommended that travelers exercise caution and avoid any areas known to be volatile or dangerous. The U.S. Department of State currently has a Level 4 travel advisory for Sudan, indicating that travelers should not visit the country due to the risks posed by terrorism and civil unrest. It is a challenging destination for travelers, and those who choose to visit should take all necessary precautions to ensure their safety. Consider these:
1. Traveling with a reputable tour company or local guide who understands the country’s current situation is also advisable. They can help you navigate potential risks and provide valuable insights into local customs and culture.
2. When traveling in Sudan, it is necessary to exercise caution and be aware of your surroundings at all times. Avoid large crowds or gatherings, and do not engage in any political discussions or activities. Keep a low profile and be respectful of local customs and traditions.
3. Carrying sufficient cash and securing valuables is advisable. Make copies of important documents such as passports and travel insurance, and store them separately from the originals. Stay hydrated and be prepared for the hot and dry climate.
4. Keep up-to-date with the latest news and information on the situation in Sudan. This can be done through reliable news sources or by checking with local authorities. And avoid areas known to be volatile or dangerous, especially during unrest. Be aware that protests and demonstrations can quickly escalate into violence, so avoiding these events is best.
5. Sudan is a challenging destination for travelers, and you must be prepared for the challenges you may face. This includes having an emergency plan, carrying appropriate travel insurance, and ensuring you have enough cash, as ATMs may need to be more reliable.
6. Visitors should respect local customs and beliefs in predominantly Muslim Sudan. For example, dress modestly, especially in public, and avoid drinking alcohol. One way to learn about local customs is by researching the destination before the trip. Understanding basic cultural norms, such as appropriate dress, greeting etiquette, and dining customs, can help travelers navigate unfamiliar situations and avoid making cultural faux pas.
7. Please register with your embassy before you travel to Sudan so they can contact you in an emergency. The embassy can also assist. They can help you get in touch with your family back home, provide travel advice, and in extreme situations, help you get out of the country.
8. Consider postponing your trip. Given the current situation in Sudan, it may be best to wait until it stabilizes. If you decide to go ahead with your trip, make sure you have a clear plan and take all necessary precautions.
It is highly recommended that you reconsider your plans and postpone your trip. The country’s ongoing civil war and political unrest pose a significant safety risk to travelers.