The Evil That Men Do

By: Ahmed Akasha 

Wars don’t just kill people, communities, villages and cities, they also destroy the lives of their survivors. Those survivors are mostly children, left to navigate the ghosts of their childhood, the horrors of their reality and the bleakness of their future.

Sudan has been in a constant state of (civil) war since 1983. The war with the south finally ended in 2005, at a cost of 2 million lives, mostly southern Sudanese, who later voted for (South Sudan’s) independence to escape the subjugation, inequality and brutal treatment handed to ‘southerns’ at the hand of successive military governments and the northern status quo.

Khartoum, Sudan

Since then, uprisings and rebellions in Kordofan, Blue Nile State and infamously Darfur, have been met with heavy military power (most of Sudan’s GDP is spent on arms and the security apparatus), resulting in the destruction of villages and communities.

As a result of these ongoing armed conflicts, millions of people have been displaced and or orphaned. In 2017, the Sudanese Homeless Child Association estimated 700,000 homeless children living in Khartoum alone.

The sit-in provided many people with a space of dialogue, activism, resistance and hope. It also ended up providing many homeless children with a safe® space to sleep as well as free food and drinks.

Khartoum, Sudan

One night, I met a man who had seen me taking pictures and asked me to photograph some children sleeping near a pavement. I had already done so. He went on to explain that his 15-year old son was killed by government security forces outside his house during one of the neighbourhood protests in February 2019. Ever since the beginning of the sit-in, he would come to protest and grieve. As time went on he noticed the homeless children, many the same age as his murdered son, and decided (along with a few others) to after them by making sure they were safe, fed and clothed.

 

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