Sudan’s situation has quickly deteriorated. Members of my family, including aunts, uncles, and cousins, are currently trapped in Sudan, attempting to flee the capital Khartoum. They have been without water and electricity for two weeks, and they are rapidly running out of food. They’ve had to flee their homes as the fighting has gotten so bad that they can smell dead bodies on the streets. There is currently no way for me or my family outside Sudan to send them any monetary or other assistance. For the past 14 days, we have had to watch the devastation of our beloved country from afar while living in constant fear of hearing the worst about our loved ones. I know other Sudanese in the diaspora feel the same way.
Women and girls, who are especially vulnerable to gender-based violence, have no place in a conflict. This conflict will only increase the number of people seeking refuge around the world, including in the United Kingdom, where the majority will be considered criminals if they enter the country without a valid visa and on a rubber boat, according to our Home Secretary Suella Braverman. But how can they apply for permission when they are fleeing a calamitous civil war and have no other choice? These are people who have a right to safety. Given Sudan’s former colonial status and the ostensible cease-fires extended today for another 72 hours, the British government must act quickly to provide a safe passage for civilians fleeing this senseless violence. This war has already claimed the lives of over 500 civilians and will undoubtedly claim many more if the international community does not help refugees.