Refugees flee war in Sudan
Like countless Sudanese people living outside the country, our friend Khalid is terrified for his family. His parents and sister have left their home in Khartoum and are travelling to seek shelter with relatives in another city. “Their home was on fire as they were leaving their street. They couldn’t stay in Khartoum because there is no water, no electricity, no medicine, no safe place anywhere.
“Even in cities where there is no fighting, the war makes people desperate because there is no food, no resources of any kind. Yesterday I called my mum and said I would send money for her and my father. She said, ‘What use would money be to us? How can we use it? There is nothing to buy in the shops.’
“I can’t sleep at night. I just stare at the news day and night trying to find out what’s happening, and check friends’ social media. You see a different picture there to the mass media. People running away with their children and a suitcase. Mothers screaming because their whole families have been killed. Hospital floors covered in blood. And thousands and thousands of people fleeing.
The atrocities are horrific, Khalid says, because of the sophistication and power of the weapons. “The weapons, and the training to use them, come from outside countries. We all know this.
“But no-one wants to help us. If you have a European passport, many politicians think you are worth saving. But if you don’t, you will be left to be killed. It’s as simple as that.”
Towards the end of Ramadan this year, fighting broke out across Sudan between the forces of the military government, and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces organisation. The two had previously worked together. The result has been violent, bloody carnage with hundreds of men, women and children killed and thousands displaced. At the time of writing a ceasefire is force, but it is due to expire at midnight. No one seriously expects it to be extended in the long term.
Last year we issued 220,000 visas to Ukrainians and 140,000 to people from Hong Kong. Suella Braverman has ruled out creating a safe and legal route to UK asylum for Sudanese refugees.