One man journeyed from Milwaukee to Madison on foot to bring attention to the ongoing war in Sudan that has displaced millions.
Jalal Yabis started his 82-mile journey to the state capitol last Monday. He arrived in Madison Thursday afternoon with the intention of handing over a resolution Friday morning on behalf of Wisconsin’s Sudanese American community, to bring more awareness to the ongoing war. The current conflict began on April 15 between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF).
“It took me four days to get here,” Yabis said. “It was a beautiful experience. But, you know, when you do something from your heart for your people, I don’t think it’s costly. And I’m dedicating this to all families who went through difficulties during this war.”
Yabis’ trek is dedicated to his people and the ongoing struggles Sudan faces.
The current war in Sudan stems from 2003’s War in Darfur, the removal of long-time authoritarian leader Omar al-Bashir in 2019 and a military coup in 2021 that dissolved the transitional civilian-ran government intended to replace Bashir’s rule. The SAF and RSF clashed this past April over control of the nation, according to the UN Refugee Agency.
Since 2003, over 5.8 million people have been displaced since the beginning of conflicts stemming back from 2003. The current conflict is estimated to have displaced 3.3 million, according to the UN Refugee Agency.
Yabis, and a few other supporters, want Wisconsin’s elected officials to hear more about the ongoing conflicts in Sudan and “say no to the war,” Nawar Elhassan said.
“We want our parliamentary elected representatives to hear our voice,” Elhassan said. “We want them to feel us like they feel other people.”
Yabis handed over a resolution to the governor’s office this morning. The resolution outlined the current war and bring awareness to the issue, and hopefully, encourage the government to take action to support the Sudanese people.
“It is long overdue for the United States government to take urgent and meaningful action to help alleviate the suffering of the Sudanese people,” the resolution from Yabis said.
The continued displacement of people has seen 1.2 million fleeing to neighboring countries such as South Sudan, Ethiopia, Egypt and the Central African Republic.
Yabis and Elhassan noted that there is a lack of medical supplies, hospitals are being bombarded, people are starving and are being chased out of their homes.
“Sadly the whole world is watching this humanitarian crisis silently,” Yabis said.
The country currently faces extreme shortages of food, water, medicine and fuel. Prices have been gouged for basic necessities, like bottled water, and fuel prices have skyrocketed from $4.20 to $67 per gallon, according to the UN Refugee Agency.