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Bereaved Sudanese Americans observe Ramadan as war still rages at home

Sudanese American Sali Mahgoub in her chicago Chicago, United States on Mar.15, 2024.   -  
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Cleared / AP

Sudan war

In the US, thousands of kilometers from Sudan, the war has made it impossible for Sudanese-Americans like Sali to observe the Muslim holy month of Ramadan peacefully and joyfully.

The nearly year-long conflict has killed over 14,790 people according to non-profit group ACLED.

"What's happening in Sudan now is really tragic. I think that it's overwhelming to even think about it, to be completely honest."

"We've lost family, we've lost friends. And I'm not even talking about, like, the physical destruction of the country. I'm just talking about lives. I'm talking about people that have unfortunately passed away and or we lost contact with us and we assume that are dead."

Despite calls, the warring paramilitary RSF and the Sudanese army are yet to reach a truce.

18 million Sudanese, one-third of the country's population – – face acute food insecurity, with the country on course to become the world’s worst hunger crisis

"You're not supposed to be in war during Ramadan. I mean, you know, if we're thinking about, like, the religious aspect of it. But yeah, let's talk about the religious aspect and then the political aspect. But the religious aspect is you can't be in war. Like, how do you become, how do you reflect? How do you become spiritually aware? How do you pray? How do you fast? how do you do all of that if you're at war?"

During Ramadan Muslims seek to deepen their connection with Allah and seek forgiveness for sins.

The UN chief expressed alarm at calls for arming civilians, and popular mobilization activities in various states across Sudan.