Roundup: Increasing voluntary return brings life back to Omdurman in Sudan-Xinhua

Roundup: Increasing voluntary return brings life back to Omdurman in Sudan

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-04-29 23:22:15

KHARTOUM, April 29 (Xinhua) -- An entire year of war has reduced Omdurman, the second largest city in Sudan to ruins and rubble. Still, some residents who fled elsewhere have set off for home return despite the danger and uncertainty ahead.

Recently, the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) in Omdurman took back control of most of the areas from the rivaling paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (SAF), convincing many of the city's residents to return to their homes.

Though there are no official statistics for the number of returnees or those wishing to return to the city, unofficial estimates indicate that more than two thousand families have returned to Omdurman within about two months.

The Chamber of Travel Buses, a union body organizing the work of buses traveling through Sudan states, announced in a statement on Sunday that on April 25, it began land trips for the voluntary return of Omdurman residents who fled the war to Port Sudan city in eastern Sudan.

"At the beginning of the war in April 2023, I moved with my family to the Northern State in northern Sudan. We have suffered a lot due to lack of basic services," Osman Abdul-Rahim, a resident of the Wad Nubawi neighborhood in central Omdurman, told Xinhua.

He said he returned due to "the significant security improvement in Omdurman after the army controlled most of the city's areas."

Meanwhile, the official authorities said they were still facing major challenges to ensure the safe return of the citizens to Omdurman, including remnants of war and unexploded ordinance, damaged water and electricity networks, and the spread of decomposing bodies on most of the city's streets.

The Khartoum State government said in a statement on Sunday that it had completed the training of 90 specialists to remove war remnants and foreign objects in the old Omdurman area.

Khartoum state's governor, Ahmed Osman Hamza, ordered the removal of the corpses and explosive objects, followed by the restoration of the water and electricity services.

A tour by a Xinhua correspondent in Omdurman showed signs of massive destruction to most of the buildings in the old Omdurman area (locally known as the Greater Omdurman locality), with decomposing bodies scattering on the main streets.

Volunteers in some neighborhoods of Omdurman are collecting decomposing bodies, repairing electricity cables, and removing rubble from the fronts of houses and entrances to main markets.

According to the Xinhua correspondent, major markets in Omdurman have also resumed work.

Omdurman is considered the second-largest Sudanese city in terms of area and population after the capital Khartoum. The Sudanese capital, Khartoum, often called the triangular capital, is formed with three cities, namely Omdurman, Khartoum, and Khartoum Bahri.

Since the conflict between the SAF and the RSF broke out on April 15, 2023, 14,790 fatalities have been recorded, while the number of people displaced inside and outside of Sudan has reached 8.2 million, according to recent estimates by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.