Sudan: 280 children and 70 caretakers from combat-stricken Khartoum orphanage rescued

Published: Updated:
Enable Read mode
100% Font Size

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, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) have confirmed.

A team from the ICRC facilitated the evacuation of the Maygoma Orphanage on Wednesday. Khartoum has been at the center of the battleground for rival factions since fighting broke out in April.


For all the latest headlines follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

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.

A five-day ceasefire agreement between the Sudanese Army and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) expired on Saturday June 3.

The short-term agreement was agreed on in Jeddah between the warring sides last month and went into effect for seven-days on May 22 before it was extended on May 29 for another five days.

It was a Saudi-US-led attempt to help secure a ceasefire to ensure that aid and relief services enter Sudan without any danger.

However, the fragile ceasefire was violated multiple times by the warring sides.

Read more:

Sudan’s warring sides remain in Jeddah despite end of ceasefire: Saudi FM statement

Saudi Arabia condemns attack on its embassy in Sudan

Blinken and Saudi FM pledge to continue cooperation to end fighting in Sudan