The Sudan Animal Rescue, located on the outskirts of Khartoum, has become a symbol of despair and vulnerability amidst the ongoing conflict in Sudan. The paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) have reportedly raided the sanctuary, stealing and killing animals for meat, leaving the remaining staff and animals terrified. This alarming development not only jeopardizes the lives of the sanctuary’s inhabitants but also highlights the desperate struggle faced by those trying to safeguard the animals in war-torn Sudan.
The RSF’s recent incursions into the Sudan Animal Rescue have added to the already precarious situation faced by the sanctuary. The animals and staff have endured previous challenges, including disruptions caused by army airstrikes and power outages. The facility houses a diverse range of wildlife, including lions, hyenas, various species of wild cats, ostriches, birds, monkeys, and reptiles.
The scarcity of food and resources seems to be the driving force behind the RSF’s raids. As the conflict between the Sudanese army and the RSF escalates, the paramilitary fighters resort to looting goods or trading looted cash for food. The sanctuary’s manager, Mansour Babiker Hamid, reported that the RSF had taken a camel and two gazelles for consumption during their recent attacks. Shockingly, one of the camels was shot and a calf was taken from its mother.
The Sudan Animal Rescue has been grappling with a lack of essential resources, particularly food and water, for the animals. To sustain the 26 lions alone, 135 kilos of meat are required daily. The staff has been working tirelessly to secure provisions from markets and facilities in al-Jazirah state, located near Khartoum. However, this task is rife with challenges, as the ongoing conflict has disrupted supply chains and made it increasingly difficult to obtain necessary resources.
Recognizing the urgency of the situation, Mansour Babiker Hamid has reached out to international organizations and neighboring countries in a bid to secure the safe transfer of the animals. Despite his tireless efforts, the animals remain trapped in a dangerous environment. Hamid has been attempting to raise funds online and engage in negotiations with authorities in Ethiopia and Egypt to facilitate the relocation of the animals. Unfortunately, bureaucratic hurdles, such as visa issues, have impeded progress.
Hamid’s appeals to major international organizations for assistance have yielded limited results so far, leaving the animals and staff in a dire predicament. With each passing day, the situation worsens, necessitating urgent action to protect the animals and provide a safe working environment for the staff.
The Sudan Animal Rescue, a sanctuary meant to provide a haven for wildlife, has become a site of fear and despair. The relentless attacks by the RSF, coupled with the scarcity of resources, have placed the animals and staff at risk.
The urgent need for international assistance and a coordinated effort to relocate the animals to a safer location or neighboring country is paramount. Only through swift action and global Support can the Sudan Animal Rescue hope to ensure the survival and well-being of its beloved inhabitants.
This article by Trinity Sparke was first published by OneGreenPlanet on 18 July 2023.
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