At least 60 infants, toddlers and older children perished over the past six weeks while trapped in harrowing conditions in an orphanage in Sudan’s capital as fighting raged outside.
Most died from lack of food and from fever. Twenty-six died in two days over the weekend.
The extent of the children’s suffering emerged from interviews with more than a dozen doctors, volunteers, health officials and workers at the Al-Mayqoma orphanage. The Associated Press also reviewed dozens of documents, images, and videos showing the deteriorating conditions at the facility.
Video taken by orphanage workers shows bodies of children tightly bundled in white sheets awaiting burial. In other footage, two dozen toddlers wearing only diapers sit on the floor of a room, many of them wailing, as a woman carries two metal jugs of water. Another woman sits on the floor with her back to the camera, rocking back and forth and apparently cradling a child.
An orphanage worker later explained that the toddlers were moved to the large room after nearby shelling blanketed another part of the facility with heavy dust last week.