Hanadi Al-Sir was one of the hundreds of people who fled to Port Sudan to board a boat or an airplane to avoid the army and paramilitary conflict.
Ten days later, she is still waiting for a ticket in the sweltering heat of the Red Sea city. I’m homeless and can’t afford to stay in a hotel. “No services,” said the 37-year-old.
The city serves as a tourist and marine hub. Daily Sudanese, Syrian, and Yemeni arrivals, however, have overrun it.
Because accommodations cost $100 each night, many refugees sleep in parks, under trees, and outside government buildings.
UN and foreign diplomatic bases compete for space. Over 8,000 people have been evacuated by Saudi Arabia, which is located across the Red Sea from Port Sudan. There have been a few brief protests about a lack of communication.
“All I get are promises, but I don’t know when we will be evacuated,” Sudanese engineer Ahmed Hassan, who lives in Saudi Arabia, said.
Despite the absence of violence, Port Sudan anticipates an economic calamity.
A port official stated that banking and customs complications had harmed shipping, the mainstay of the local economy.
Because of the destroyed telecommunications and financial infrastructure, refugees are having difficulty accessing cash.
They have removed our privacy and power. “I wish we had never left Khartoum,” Salem said as he waited under a makeshift tent. “We moved to find a way out, but there’s no way out until now.”
According to volunteer doctor Rawan Abdelrahman, Sudanese Red Crescent hospitals see 400 Syrians and Yemenis every day. She said that they need medicine, supplies, and workers. Many of her patients went to Sudan to escape the turmoil.
Abu Munir, a restaurant owner, is one of 5,000 Syrians awaiting deportation.
“I came here nine years ago fleeing war, and now the war is driving us out of Sudan,” he said, exhausted after more than a week on the streets. “Despite the war at home, our only hope is to return to Syria.”