Decomposing corpses in Sudan’s war zones stoke health crisis concerns

Scores of bodies, encompassing both military personnel and civilians, are strewn across the streets of Sudan, notably in conflict-stricken areas like Khartoum, Bahari, and Omdurman, heightening concerns about the potential for a public health crisis.

On Tuesday, eyewitnesses informed media that both civilian and military corpses have remained unburied in Khartoum due to the ongoing confrontations between the Sudanese army and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), compounded by their close proximity to areas targeted by bombings.

The bodies have started to decompose as they’ve been exposed in the open for several days, and the inability to provide them with proper burials has escalated the risk of disease transmission in the war-stricken North African nation.

The conflict between the Rapid Support Forces and army has persisted since April this year.

The Central Committee of Health Officers, a Sudanese non-governmental organization, released a cautionary statement on Sunday regarding the environmental hazards stemming from the presence of decaying bodies on the streets due to the ongoing conflict.

“There are problems affecting environmental health due to corpses remaining in their locations, especially since some of them have entered the stage of decomposition” said the head of the Central Committee of Health Officers, Hiba al-Makki, speaking to local media.

He emphasized the need to tackle this situation in accordance with emergency public health protocols.

Save the Children International, a humanitarian organization headquartered in London, revealed last Tuesday that Khartoum’s streets are witnessing the decomposition of thousands of corpses due to the incapacity of morgues to maintain the bodies and the adverse effects of unreliable power supply on cooling systems.

For more than 100 days, fierce clashes have persisted between the army and the RSF, primarily within pivotal regions around the capital and in the western regions of the nation.

Throughout the enduring conflict since April, the toll has surpassed 3,000 lives lost, tens of thousands injured, and approximately 4 million people displaced.

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