AN unspecified number of children have died at one of Sudan’s major orphanages as the conflict in the country rages on.
The youngsters at the Mygoma orphanage in the capital Khartoum have
succumbed to malnourishment, dehydration and infections.
The confirmation of the deaths by the United Nations Children’s Fund
(UNICEF) and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
(OCHA) is a gruesome confirmation of how minors are the most impacted by
the conflict that erupted on April 15.
Mygoma, home to over 300 children, faces shortages of supplies and staff
and suffers recurrent power outages, all as a result of the conflict.
“Heartbroken and dismayed at deaths of children in Mygoma,” lamented
Mandeep O’Brien, UNICEF representative in Sudan.
She said UNICEF is providing lifesaving supplies and coordinating efforts with partners to relocate the children as safely as possible.
“Every measure must be taken to ensure [the] safe passage of these vulnerable
children,” O’Brien said.
Owen Watkins, UNICEF Chief of Communication, Advocacy and Partnerships
in Sudan, stated, “What is happening in Mygoma is a microcosm of what is
happening to children across Sudan. Caught in the crossfire, they are
the most vulnerable of the vulnerable and need to be protected.”
UNICEF revealed more than 13,6 million children in Sudan are in urgent need of humanitarian aid, after weeks into the conflict that has forcefully led to school closures leaving millions of children out of their classrooms.
An estimated 618 000 school-age children, including 458 000 internally displaced, have been displaced inside and outside Sudan due to the ongoing violence while others are sheltering in their homes, according to the Education Cluster.
Children out of school are at heightened risk of recruitment into armed groups and other protection concerns.
The conflict has entered its eighth week, with fighting between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) continuing. At least 780 people have been killed, and about 5 800 injured across the country.
Nearly 1,6 million people have been forced to flee their homes.
– CAJ News