The International Relations Department reports that South African diplomatic staff in Sudan could not assist South African nationals as the violence had them trapped in the same situation. Since the fighting between Sudan’s army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces started almost a week ago, over 300 people have died, and thousands have suffered injuries, as per Eyewitness News. In response to the United Nations’s calls to stop fighting during Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, the paramilitary group announced a 72-hour ceasefire.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has appealed for a ceasefire for at least three days so civilians in conflict zones can escape and seek medical treatment, food and other essential supplies. However, the head of diplomacy in the International Relations Department, Clayson Monyela, warns that the situation remains highly dangerous. Therefore, South African nationals trapped in Sudan should stay indoors, avoid going out and remain safe.
According to Monyela, all routes for evacuation are closed off, and the airport has been destroyed and is not operational. Sharon Dreyer, a South African teacher in Sudan, reported that rooms are full, and she has to share a room with five or six people. She and her colleagues had to pay $260 per night for their accommodation and would have to stay for three nights. Another South African woman, who wishes to be known as “Manda,” pleaded for assistance, describing the horror of the current conflict in Sudan.
Meanwhile, Dreyer and “Manda” are in a dire situation, unsure where to go. The International Relations Department calls for an immediate ceasefire to help relieve those caught in the crossfire.