Situation report: Sudanese refugees are being detained in secret military bases in Egypt; Fighting escalated in Khartoum Bahri between SAF and RSF; All Ethiopian troops ordered to leave Somalia by end of 2024

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Situation in Sudan (per 3 June)

  • Fighting escalated in Khartoum Bahri as the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) attacked the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) across Halfaya Bridge on Friday. The bridge is controlled on the west side by SAF and on the east side by RSF. It is the only remaining bridge between Omdurman and Bahri. 
  • SAF failed to capture the bridge. The attempt was accompanied by a heavy exchange of fire, in which RSF reportedly downed a Mi-24 helicopter.
  • Russia is planning to build a logistics support centre at the Red Sea coast in Sudan, states the Institute for the Study of War. The institute states that Russia is likely using the centre and underlying agreements to set the foundation for a naval base.
  • The logistics centre may be used to foster favour with SAF, including military aid.
  • Famine will take hold in large parts of Sudan, unless drastic changes in the access for humanitarian aid are made, warns the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) of the United Nations.
  • “Aid workers are being killed, injured and harassed, and humanitarian supplies are being looted,” states IASC. Only 16% of the support needed from donors has been received so far.

Situation in South Sudan (per 3 June)

  • South Sudan and Sudan discussed the resumption of transportation of South Sudan’s oil through Sudanese territory, currently suspended due to the conflict. 
  • Sudan’s Transitional Sovereign Council Chairman Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan and South Sudan’s presidential advisor on security Tut Gatluak agreed to hold a meeting between the countries’ oil ministries to discuss resolving the issues.
  • Over 7 million people in South Sudan will likely face acute food insecurity or worse between now and July; this is particularly hard on those undergoing treatment for tuberculosis or HIV, states Médecins Sans Frontières. 
  • South Sudan President Salva Kiir declared the Bank of South Sudan (BoSS) as an independent institution last week, announcing that the government will have no further interference with the bank.

Situation in Ethiopia (per 3 June)

  • Sudanese refugees in Amhara, Ethiopia, continue to face insecurity in the Komer and Awlala camps. A refugee representative states there have been around 1,700 incidents involving Ethiopian militias, including killings, looting, theft, kidnapping, and assaults.
  • A group of Sudanese refugees was reportedly kidnapped from an ambulance as they were on the way to Gondar Hospital  for treatment.
  • Conflict is the primary cause of displacement in Ethiopia, displacing almost 2.2 million IDPs, states IOM.

Situation in Tigray (per 3 June)

  • An evaluation report of the humanitarian response to the Tigray conflict between November 2020 and May 2023 found that the response failed to meet many essential needs and was not underpinned by humanitarian principles.
  • The report also states that there was a lack of coherent response, and the humanitarian leadership was ineffective, with a disunited country team.

Regional Situation (per 3 June)

  • All Ethiopian troops need to depart Somalia before the end of December 2024, stated Somalia’s National Security Advisor Hussein Maalim. This reportedly includes the Ethiopian troops that are part of the forces to replace the African Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) troops, fighting al-Shabaab.
  • Maalim stated the troops need to leave the country if the Memorandum of Understanding signed between Somaliland and Ethiopia is not scrapped.
  • Almost 500,000 children are still out of school in Kenya following the heavy flooding last month. Many classrooms are still unusable.

International Situation (per 3 June)

  • Thousands of Sudanese refugees are being detained in secret military bases in Egypt, and then deported back to Sudan, state The New Humanitarian and the Refugees Platform. 
  • There is a systematic and nationwide effort to prevent Sudanese refugees from applying for asylum. Refugees testified that they had been shot at, arrested, detained and deported without any legal process. This included refugees who were seriously sick or injured.
  • Refugees reported their Egyptian drivers also being beaten and tortured by border guards upon being caught.
  • The UN Security Council extended the sanctions on South Sudan, including asset freezes, travel bans and an arms embargo, by one year. The vote received the minimum 9 out of 15 votes.
  • The sponsor of the resolution, the US, states that the sanctions remain necessary to stem the flow of weapons in the region.
  • The Dutch public prosecutor has demanded 6 to 12 months of prison against the Eritrean suspects that have been arrested in relation to the clashes in The Hague on 17 February.
  • The suspects are concerned about the safety of their families, as their names and addresses are openly mentioned, which they fear will lead to persecution by the Eritrean regime.
  • Eritrean President Isaias Afewerki and a delegation including Foreign Minister Osman Saleh have arrived in Seoul for the South Korea-Africa summit held between 3-4 June.
  • South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol met with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed ahead of the summit. They discussed South Korean infrastructure projects, as well as mining development and defence equipment deals.
  • The EU is reportedly preparing a new set of sanctions on individuals in Sudan in relation to the conflict.

Links of interest

Details on the latest fighting in Bahri
Africa File, May 31, 2024: Russian Red Sea Logistics Center in Sudan
Statement by Principals of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC): No time to lose as famine stalks millions in Sudan amid intense fighting and access denials
Sudan, South Sudan discuss resumption of oil transportation
Breaking: President Kiir declares Bank of South Sudan independent institution
A lack of food adds to challenges for people living with HIV and TB in South Sudan
UN Security Council extends sanctions against South Sudan for one year
Sudanese refugees in Ethiopia face violence and humanitarian crisis
Ethiopia — National Displacement Report 18 (November- December 2023)
Inter-agency humanitarian evaluation of the response to the crisis in Northern Ethiopia
Somalia demands Ethiopia to withdraw troops from Somali territory by year-end
After flooding, 497,783 learners did not return to class: report
EXCLUSIVE: Inside Egypt’s secret scheme to detain and deport thousands of Sudanese refugees
OM eist tot jaar celstraf in zaak Eritrese rellen Den Haag
President Yoon meets leaders of Tanzania, Ethiopia ahead of Korea-Africa Summit
Yemane G. Meskel on X
EU Says Considering Imposing New Sanctions on Individuals in Sudan

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