Sudan: “Conflict broke out the day I wanted to go home”

A voice from the cellar

“The conflict broke out the same day I wanted to go home.”

Camille Marquis from France works for Doctors Without Borders in Sudan. The conflict broke out on the day she wanted to return to her family. Now she reports from the cellar.


Camille Marquis from France was in Sudan for a year for Doctors Without Borders.


  • Last Saturday, the one-year mission of the French woman, Camille Marquez, to the relief organization “Doctors Without Borders” in Sudan ended.

  • Or better: it should have ended. Because on the day of their departure the armed conflict broke out.

  • Now, Marquis is stuck in an air raid shelter for the sixth day in a row.

  • From there she reports for 20 minutes on the catastrophic conditions in the country and the danger facing millions of people, including many children.

“My luggage was packed, the fridge and lockers were empty, and I only had a few hours to drive to the airport and After a year in Sudan to fly home. Last Saturday I thought Last day in Karthom to dismiss. But while I was eating breakfast, at 8:30 in the morning, I suddenly heard gunshots outside.

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Everyone in the guesthouse hurried downstairs, where kind of bunker Located. With a dozen of my colleagues, I spent the day sitting on the floor. Those coming from abroad Heavy gunfire soundsAnd the low-flying planes and explosions after airstrikes left us stunned again and again. The walls shook and the small windows rattled due to the eerie sounds that reverberated throughout the room. There was often silence after the explosion, but it didn’t last long.

‘The wounded cannot be treated’

“Instead of going to the airport and going home, I spent the night on the ground surrounded by my colleagues. I thought of the people stuck at the airport where fierce fighting had broken out. I could be among them. Some of them were wounded, but the injured were unable to leave the airport for medical attention. I also thought of all my fellow Sudanese and all the people of Khartoum.”

Reports of experiences from Sudan have been harrowing for days.

20 minutes

“Unlike me, most of them have not had the opportunity to sleep in a shelter – stocked with emergency supplies of water and food. Today is the sixth day of fighting in the densely populated streets of the city of about ten million people. Food, water and fuel are becoming scarce and people are taking extreme risks to get Supplies from the stores are already very limited.”

“It’s very sad.”

“When I hear of the devastation outside, when I read about the dead, wounded and sick who cannot even get to a functioning hospital in the capital, I feel so sad. For Sudan and the people caught in the midst of fighting between armed factions in their country. Residents are somehow trying to get food, water, medicine and supplies Medical – and this is in the first few days after the start of the fight.

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The consequences of this and its impact on already limited humanitarian access will be very tragic. For a year, I have been assessing humanitarian needs in Sudan and documenting the impact of the current supply shortages on the health and nutrition of the Sudanese population, especially children.”

Why is there fighting in Sudan in the first place? Explanation in the video.

20 min / Anya Zobrist

“Because of the fighting, we cannot provide life-saving aid.”

“One of my colleagues who is currently stuck with me in Khartoum had one nurse and one trainer who had flown to El Geneina in West Darfur to work in the MSF-supported hospital, caring for severely malnourished children and treating sick children. The psychiatrist was stuck with MSF, which She works at El Geneina Hospital, also stuck in Khartoum.Because of the fighting, they may not all be able to return anytime soon to provide life-saving assistance.

Teams in West Darfur have also reported an unusually low number of patients in clinics. Perhaps this shows that because of the fighting, people do not want to leave their homes to seek help in the hospital. Experience has shown that cases of malnutrition in El Geneina peaked at the beginning of May – in just ten days.”

Millions of children face dire consequences.

“If humanitarian and health workers are unable to do their jobs and patients are afraid to go to hospital, millions of children and other vulnerable people in Sudan face serious health consequences. The people of Sudan were already in a humanitarian crisis before the fighting broke out.

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About a third of the population was already at risk of starvation prior to the current conflict. It can be assumed that the situation throughout the country will continue to deteriorate. Accordingly, Doctors Without Borders calls on all parties to the conflict to ensure the safety of the medical staff and patients so that they can reach health facilities without fearing for their lives.

* Camille Marquis from France is the Advocacy Director for Doctors Without Borders and spent a year in Sudan.

Swiss nationals cannot be evacuated from Sudan. The responsible person at the DFFA explains why.

20 min / Stefan Lanz

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