Recent satellite imagery has uncovered a grim reality in a once-prosperous capital city, now scarred by the ravages of war. According to reports from humanitarian volunteers who spoke exclusively to Sky News, the city’s population has experienced a staggering exodus of around 70% since the onset of conflict in Sudan. These volunteers have revealed that the remains of those who once walked its streets now rest in numerous mass graves, a somber outcome of a large-scale cleanup operation.
The volunteers attested to the significant decline in the city’s population, estimating that over 70% of its half-million residents have fled as a direct result of the war that engulfed Sudan. In the aftermath, the grim sight of bodies strewn on the streets was dealt with through a massive cleanup campaign, leading to the creation of multiple mass grave sites.
One of the volunteers independently corroborated the existence of one such grave site. He recounted witnessing the burial of 50 bodies at this location, followed by another 45 bodies the following day. Despite their involvement in transporting the deceased, the volunteers expressed dissatisfaction with the treatment of the deceased, leading them to withdraw from the burial process. They distanced themselves from the dumping of bodies, emphasizing their role in dignified transportation.
The identities of the victims have been discerned as belonging to the African Massalit and Burgo tribes. However, the atmosphere around the mass grave sites remains tense and secretive. The volunteer revealed that even making a phone call or attempting to film in the vicinity was fraught with danger. A grim incident involving a suspected information leak was detailed, wherein an individual faced severe physical abuse for their alleged indiscretion.
The Burgo tribe volunteer disclosed a deeply personal tragedy, sharing that he had lost 14 siblings to the unrelenting ethnic violence that had gripped al Geneina. Many of the deceased family members remained unburied for an extended duration after their deaths due to the overwhelming circumstances. The volunteer recounted the heart-wrenching tale of his teenage sister, who fell victim to a fatal gunshot wound within their own home. This tragic occurrence was substantiated by a fellow humanitarian worker who was present in the city at that time.
The volunteer, who preferred to remain anonymous for safety reasons, lamented the ordeal of burying his sister a staggering 54 days after her demise. He further revealed the injuries sustained by his mother during the incident, which left her unable to leave their residence for an extended period. Medical assistance has yet to reach her, a poignant testament to the dire circumstances in the city.
As one of the few remaining non-Arab inhabitants in al Geneina, the volunteer faces a challenging decision regarding his family’s future. The financial toll of the crisis, including looting that depleted their savings, has rendered relocation difficult. His modest earnings, derived from his involvement in transporting bodies, have provided some solace by enabling him to provide a dignified burial for his lost family members.