Students, academics provide support to those affected by war

Sudan’s civil society, including students and staff from the university community and the academic diaspora, have launched several initiatives, ranging from fundraising and awareness campaigns to medical support, in an effort to deal with the impact of the military clashes between the national army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, or RSF, that started on 15 April.

The military clashes have caused food, medicine and fuel shortages, while also limiting access to transport, health care, communications and electricity, especially in the capital, Khartoum, and its surrounding areas, according to a 26 April report published by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

The civilian death toll and injuries stand at 303 and 2,000, respectively, according to a 27 April report issued by a committee of the Sudan Doctors Trade Union (CSDTU). However, these figures could be higher, given difficulties in collecting accurate data in certain geographical areas.

University of Al Gezira

On 27 April, the Gezira University Committee for Community Service (GUCC) launched an environmental sanitation campaign in shelters in Wad Medani also known as Madani, the capital of the Al Gezira state, to raise public awareness of personal hygiene to prevent and control epidemics.

The academic and non-academic staff members, students and graduate community of GUCC are also joining forces with philanthropists, various organisations and activists who are providing medical and treatment services through the university’s health services department and are setting up clinics in shelters as well as offering logistical and in-kind support.

In addition, GUCC is coordinating with authorities to attract financial support for the shelters, is examining the possibility of holding remedial lessons for pre-university students of the families in the shelters and is preparing buildings to accommodate arrivals from Khartoum along with allocating an office for GUCC for emergency work as well as creating a WhatsApp group to coordinate efforts and exchange ideas.

Furthermore, GUCC is assisting the families and citizens who came from affected areas to Gezira state in east-central Sudan, according to a statement by Professor Salah El-Din El-Araby, the director of the University of Al Gezira.

Students provide support

The Al-Neelain University Medical Students Association has been providing intravenous fluids for hospitals.

Also, young people, including Shendi University students, have launched an initiative involving the citizens of the city of Shendi to receive the war-affected persons from Khartoum and provide them with services including health, food and accommodation along with financial support.

Shendi is a small city in northern Sudan, situated on the south-eastern bank of the Nile River 150km north-east of Khartoum. Several photos of these activities were posted on the Facebook page of the Shendi University Student Forum.

Sudanese youth also launched an online initiative Appeal, which is a call for humanitarian and relief aid in Sudan. It is based on the principle of registering to request foodstuffs, medicine and other assistance, or to provide whatever aid you have that you can provide.

Zawwadtak e-initiative was also launched to allow people in need to register what they need and to provide help to them.

Academic diaspora

In cooperation with the Al Jazeera Center for Assessment and Psychotherapy in Sudan, the Sudanese Doctors Association in Qatar launched an initiative on 26 April to provide a free counselling service.

The Sudanese American Physicians Association (SAPA) has launched a crisis appeal to support its healthcare initiatives to provide medical supplies and resources as well as humanitarian relief along with supporting the health sector.

On 26 April, members of the Sudanese Academics, Researchers & Experts Association (Sarea) launched a fundraising campaign titled ‘Stop the war’.

Sarea, a voluntary national entity, issued a statement in which it condemns the conflict and offers expertise to support conflict resolution.

The Alliance of Sudanese Abroad for Supporting Revolution (ASASR), including the academic diaspora, are organising protest across the world in solidarity with the people of Sudan and are calling for an immediate ceasefire to allow a safe passageway to supply humanitarian aid and a safe passage for civilians.

These protests have been documented in photos and videos from the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Spain, Australia, France, Norway and Switzerland in ASASR’s Facebook page.

ASASR is a unified platform bringing together Sudan diaspora bodies and civil society groups with the aim of supporting social and political change in Sudan.