Sudan's academic community is facing a dire situation amid the country's ongoing violent conflict, prompting an impassioned plea from the Sudanese National Academy of Sciences. In a heartfelt letter dated September 21, the academy has outlined the critical and tragic circumstances that have unfolded due to months of fighting among factions within the Sudanese army. The conflict has left the nation's research community dispersed and its universities and research centres in ruins.
The heartfelt appeal implores academic institutions worldwide to extend their support to Sudanese students, researchers, and university professors during this challenging period. Specifically, the academy is seeking assistance in providing admission to universities and academic institutions outside Sudan until the crisis subsides. Furthermore, the academy is calling on the global scientific community to help engage potential donors in their respective countries to contribute to the vital reconstruction efforts aimed at rebuilding the academic infrastructure decimated by the conflict.
This protracted conflict, which has persisted since April, has witnessed air raids targeting urban and industrial areas where many academic institutions are situated. The situation has led to the collapse of essential services in several towns, particularly in Khartoum, the country's capital.
As of August 27, Sudan's Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research reported that over 100 universities and research centres nationwide had sustained damage, with equipment and transport vehicles looted. Initial estimates for the cost of damage suggest figures that could reach into the billions of dollars.
However, as highlighted by Nimir Elbashir, a Sudanese engineering professor based in Qatar, the true extent of the war's impact may be even more extensive than initially reported, as no one has had access to the facilities located in the conflict zones.
The situation is undeniably critical for Sudanese academics, as underscored by Mohamed Hassan, President of the Sudanese National Academy of Sciences. The open letter serves as a heartfelt appeal for solidarity from the global scientific community.
Many students and academic staff have been displaced, seeking refuge in areas with limited modern communications. This dire situation has rendered even remote teaching virtually impossible. The challenges facing those who have fled the conflict zones are immense, with passports in disarray and a lack of
Article by RB Correspodent