May 20, 2024
Sudan: 280 children and 70 caretakers from Khartoum orphanage reach safety
– By Godswill Odiong

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More than 280 children and 70 caretakers from a Khartoum orphanage affected by heavy combat have been evacuated to a safer location outside the capital.

A team from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) facilitated the evacuation of the Maygoma Orphanage on Wednesday. The children, aged between 1 month and 15 years, were taken to Wad Madani, about 200 kilometers from Khartoum.

“Knowing these children are safe is an enormous relief,” said Jean-Christophe Sandoz, the head of the ICRC delegation in Sudan.

“They spent incredibly difficult moments in an area where the conflict has been raging for the past 6 weeks without access to proper healthcare, an especially hard situation for children with special needs.”

Some of the evacuated children suffer from mental health conditions, that could be exacerbated by the stressful conflict environment they were living in.

The ICRC facilitated the evacuation following the request from the Ministry of Social Development, and in close coordination with the Ministry of Health. As a neutral intermediary, it obtained security guarantees from the parties to the conflict to ensure safe passage for the children and the orphanage staff. Upon arrival in Wad Madani, the children were transferred to the custody of the Ministry’s personnel.

Since fighting broke out in Sudan on April 15, the ICRC has been closely cooperating with the Sudanese Red Crescent Society to deliver surgical supplies to hospitals, help collect and identify mortal remains, and improve access to clean water. The two organizations have also supported families who lost contact with their loved ones. In addition, the ICRC has maintained dialogue with all the parties to facilitate medical evacuations of wounded people and remind them of their obligations under the norms of international humanitarian law.

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