Heavy flooding has affected and displaced about 426,000 people in South Sudan, including 185,000 children, as overflowing rivers deluged homes and farms in the impoverished country, the UN’s emergency-response agency said on Tuesday.
Emergency workers have used canoes and boats to reach people cut off by the deluge, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in a briefing note, warning that more heavy rains and flooding were expected in the coming months.
The downpours “have exacerbated the vulnerability of communities, with many people displaced by the floods seeking refuge in churches and schools”, the agency said.
In Bentiu, the capital of Unity state, which is home to about a third of the flood-hit population, desperate farmers begged for help, as rising waters triggered by early seasonal rainfall submerged their houses and their land.
“Even the animals are being affected. All the places we use to graze them in are all flooded with water,” farmer Gatjiath Pal told AFP.
“Everywhere is water… and we don’t know when this will end because it is raining every day here,” he said.
Other villagers said they were frightened of being bitten by snakes as the deluge prompts the reptiles to seek shelter inside buildings.
“Life here is so miserable,” Nyadak Chuol, a mother of three, told AFP.
“The roads are getting blocked… water has come up to our houses. We are struggling every day now to find safe places to stay,” the 33-year-old said.
“The worst thing is that… wild and dangerous animals like snakes are moving closer to us,” she added.
The heavy downpours have destroyed flimsy thatched huts and killed livestock, a year after record floods affected about 700,000 people.
Around 100,000 of those displaced in last year’s disaster have still not returned home, the UN agency said.
In addition to health facilities being damaged or destroyed by the floods, 113 schools have also been affected, putting children’s education at risk, it warned.
Meanwhile rescue teams are struggling to get aid to some 25,000 people in Warrap, a northwest state plagued by deadly conflict between rival ethnic groups.
– Aid cuts –
OCHA last month warned of limited supplies and a funding shortfall, saying that it had only received 54 percent of the $1.7 billion (1.4 billion euros) required to pay for programmes in the country.
Funding shortages have also forced the UN World Food Programme to suspend food aid to over 100,000 displaced people in South Sudan, the agency said earlier this month, warning of further reductions unless it received more cash.
Four out of five of South Sudan’s 11 million people live in “absolute poverty”, according to the World Bank in 2018, while more than 60 percent of its population suffers from severe hunger from the combined effects of conflict, drought and floods.
Since achieving independence from Sudan in 2011, the young nation has been in the throes of a chronic economic and political crisis, and is struggling to recover from the aftermath of a five-year civil war that left nearly 400,000 people dead.
Although a 2018 ceasefire and power-sharing deal between President Salva Kiir and his deputy Riek Machar still largely holds, it is being sorely tested, with little progress made in fulfilling the terms of the peace process.
September 21, 2021 (KHARTOUM) – Islamist officers in the Sudanese army tried to seize power in Khartoum on Tuesday morning but their attempted coup has been foiled.
Military and civilian Sudanese officials confirmed the aborted coup but until now the transitional government did not issue a statement about the situation.
In the early hours of Tuesday morning, Member of the Sovereign Council Mohamed al-Faki who is also its spokesman issued a short call on social media to the Sudanese to take to the street to “protect the democratic transition.”
Later, in a second post, he reassured the public saying the situation is under control.
Sources say the military intelligence identified the putschist elements in several corps of the Sudanese army and arrested them except the Armoured Corp.
The headquarters of this army is now surrounded by the army because some of them are retrenched inside its building. Some reports speak about ongoing negotiations with them to convince them to surrender.
Names of several Islamists officers in the army have been circulated but there are no official confirmations.
The military component in the transitional government did not purge the army from the Islamists officers hoping that the esprit de corps would prevail and support the democratic change.
The coup aimed at controlling the Sudanese Army General Command, the official radio, television buildings, and the bridges linking the three parties of the capital Khartoum.
Ethiopian officials have said they are moving closer to commissioning the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) hydropower installation, part of 71 power projects included in a $40 billion investment package to increase the country’s electricity generation over the next decade.
The 6,450-MW GERD project, being built on the Blue Nile River and set to more than double Ethiopia’s current power generation capacity, also is expected to reduce the flow of Nile River water to Sudan and Egypt as the dam’s reservoir is filled. Disputes about water rights, along with concerns about water supply and the safety of the dam, have caused years of tension between Ethiopia and the other countries, who depend on water from the Nile to serve their populations. The countries have said the GERD threatens not only their water but also their national security.
Ethiopia, which began building the dam in 2011, has said it will fill the reservoir in stages, a process that could take up to seven years. The second year of filling was completed in July, according to government officials. The United Nations Security Council, meanwhile, on Sept. 15 urged Ethiopia, Egypt, and Sudan to resume African Union-led talks to reach a binding deal about the dam’s operation “within a reasonable timeframe.”
Egypt and Sudan had both called on the U.N. council to help resolve the dispute after Ethiopia began the second year of filling the reservoir. Ethiopian officials have repeatedly said they are opposed to any U.N. involvement. The three countries in 2015 signed a “Declaration of Principles,” under which the downstream countries—Egypt and Sudan—are not supposed to be negatively affected by the dam’s construction, but Sudan and Egypt continue to express concerns about whether Ethiopia will honor their water rights as the dam begins operating.
Despite ongoing disagreements about the $4.6 billion GERD project, officials with Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP), the country’s major energy provider, in August said Sudan presented a formal request to buy 1,000 MW of power from Ethiopia, although no announcement has been made about whether any of that electricity will be hydropower from the GERD. Officials with EEP have said other countries, including South Sudan, Kenya, and Djibouti, also are negotiating to purchase electricity from Ethiopia.
Ethiopia’s new power plan, announced in late August, is to increase its current 4,200 MW of generation capacity to about 35,000 MW by 2037, not only to have more power to serve the country’s own people, but also to have electricity to export. Power Africa, a U.S.-backed group that works to bring electricity to sub-Saharan Africa, recently said just 45% of Ethiopia’s population has access to electricity, and the figure drops to 32% in rural areas of the country.
Hydro, Wind, Solar, Geothermal
The GERD project will be the largest hydroelectric plant on the African continent, and would rank as the eighth-largest in the world. Energy officials from Ethiopia have announced a list of new projects they want to bring online over the next 10 years, led by GERD and 15 other hydropower installations.
The list also includes 24 wind projects, 17 geothermal, and 14 solar, as Ethiopia not only increases its use of renewable energy but also moves toward becoming a net exporter of power to other African nations.
KC Amase, an energy industry consultant in Africa, told POWER that, “Like many other African countries, Ethiopia has a huge infrastructure gap that need urgent attention to drive economic development. Its power deficit is largely due to the growing population, industrialization and middle-class. Financing these 71 projects with about $40 billion cannot be funded by the state alone. This therefore creates an enormous opportunity for private sector involvement in special public private partnerships [PPPs].”
Amase said those partnerships to build energy infrastructure would bring benefits beyond more power generation. “Even though there are concerns from their downstream neighbors like Egypt and Sudan, the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam when completed is expected to add 6.4 GW [of] hydropower to the nation’s current 4.5-GW capacity to support new industry expansions and create jobs for youth. There are other energy investment opportunities that investors can benefit from like solar and sustainable alternatives.”
Andualem Siae, executive officer of Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP), has said the country’s government will augment funding of the planned projects with financial support from private and public partnerships, as Amase noted. Siae said that funding will be in addition to money from the African Development Bank, the World Bank, and other partners. As an example, the government said Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power will build two of the solar projects. Siae recently said AMEA Power, based in the United Arab Emirates, is negotiating to build the Aisha I wind farm project. Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy already is building the 100-MW Assela wind farm near Iteya, about 150 kilometers south of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital. Siae said potential developers also are bidding to build the other wind power installations.
Officials have said the first solar projects will be developed as part of the International Finance Corp.’s (IFC’s) “Scaling Solar” program. The IFC is the private sector financing arm of the World Bank.
Government officials recently said that in the past fiscal year, Ethiopia made almost $100 million from exports of energy to Djibouti and Sudan. An EEP official said about 1,000 MW of power is currently being exported. Officials have said that as new capacity comes online, Ethiopia will sell electricity to Kenya, and establish grid links to South Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Yemen.
Several geothermal projects already are underway in Ethiopia, as the country looks to exploit the potential of the Rift Valley. The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) in a recent report said about 900 MW of geothermal capacity is installed in the region, in Ethiopia and Kenya. The IRENA earlier had said geothermal capacity in the Rift could approach 20,000 MW.
The long-running dispute over the GERD installation has continued even as the project comes closer to commissioning. Several groups, including the U.N. and some U.S representatives, have made repeated attempts to revive negotiations between Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia. Sudanese officials in separate media interviews in recent weeks said Ethiopia has been unwilling to reopen talks to resolve disputes surrounding the project and its water use. Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, in a recent interview with the Asharq News channel, said his country wants an agreement on the GERD dispute within the framework of international law.
Sudan and Egypt have said they want a legally binding agreement on the filling and operation of the GERD, and have said they want a deal that guarantees a mechanism for resolving future disputes. Ethiopian officials have said they will only honor an agreement with non-binding guidelines about the dam’s water use and operation.
Ethiopia on July 19 announced it had completed the second filling of the dam’s reservoir with enough water to begin generating hydropower. Sudan and Egypt both expressed their opposition to that move because it came without an agreement among the countries about filling and operating the project. Egypt has long held that a 1959 agreement between Egypt and Sudan is the legal basis for the allocation of Nile River waters, but Ethiopia and other African countries have rejected that argument.
Egypt earlier this year went so far as to threaten military action against the GERD project if Ethiopia went ahead with the second filling of the reservoir, although Sameh Shoukry, Egypt’s foreign minister, walked back those comments in an interview with Bloomberg last week. Shoukry said, “Egypt’s president has never indicated that he would take military actions against Ethiopia,” saying comments from Egypt that “all options are on the table” did not include a show of force. “I think nobody seeks conflict,” said Shoukry. “On [the] contrary, we seek a peaceful resolution to solve this issue [based] on the international law and based on the best practice.”
Officials now say they expect the countries will likely come together to forge an agreement ahead of the next scheduled filling, which would probably occur during next summer’s rainy season—about two years after the African Union began mediating the dispute in June 2020.
The 15-member U.N. Security Council in its statement Wednesday said the three countries should “take forward the AU-led negotiation process in a constructive and cooperative manner. The Security Council encourages Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan to resume negotiations at the invitation of the Chairperson of the African Union to finalize expeditiously the text of the mutually acceptable and binding agreement on the filling and operation of the GERD, within a reasonable time frame.”
Some council members have said they are hesitant to become involved in the dispute because it could set a precedent and lead to other countries to ask the U.N. to intervene in water matters. The council’s statement Wednesday noted that, saying, “The Security Council underscores that this statement does not set out any principles or precedent in any other transboundary water disputes.”
—Darrell Proctor is a senior associate editor for POWER (@POWERmagazine).
South Sudan has failed to unify the country’s armed groups into a single force with a central goal of ensuring national security. The task of security sector reform has been frustrated by a militarised political culture that could see political tensions boiling over into armed conflict.
The most recent illustration is the fallout between Vice President Riek Machar and senior figures in his opposition party. In August, the leadership tried ousting Machar as party head, with First Lieutenant General Simon Gatwech Dual emerging as leader of the rival faction.
Reports that armed forces loyal to the two camps exchanged gunfire were reminiscent of the December 2013 shootout between members of the presidential guard at the start of the civil war. Although Machar maintained his hold over the party, the fallout shows how rapidly political infighting can escalate into armed violence.
Both the ruling party and opposition in South Sudan are founded on military movements with weak political wings. As a result, the lines are blurred between the leadership and the armed forces. This tendency has also reinforced ethnic divisions that impede unification of troops in the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) and the SPLA In Opposition.
The armed forces have become powerful instruments aligned to individuals rather than the state
The armed forces have become a powerful instrument aligned mainly to individual leaders rather than the state or central party structures. Combining these groups under a national system would dilute the leverage that opposition generals have gained from commanding their own militias. Unless the role of party military wings is changed, political tensions in the opposition will probably escalate into armed confrontations that could trigger widespread instability.
The lack of security sector reform has affected not only the armed forces but also the police and other security institutions. Changes that started in 2005 were halted by the outbreak of the 2013 civil war. Current reforms were launched in 2018 under the Revitalised Agreement for the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS) – and is proving to be a vital step for securing peace. Unfortunately, the country’s political and institutional terrain complicates the process.
After several failed peace agreements, the R-ARCSS led to cautious optimism that the country could be stabilised, allowing the reforms that had stopped during the civil war to continue. The United Nations Mission in South Sudan has been at the forefront of supporting these renewed efforts.
The R-ARCSS provides for security mechanisms to oversee the reforms during the 18-month transitional period. These include: the Joint Transitional Security Committee responsible for the training and redeployment of unified forces; the Joint Military Ceasefire Commission; and Area Joint Military Ceasefire Committees that monitor the cantonment areas and train opposition forces.
Three years on, the mechanisms to oversee security sector reforms are still not fully functional
These structures were supposed to be established within two weeks of the R-ARCSS. Nearly three years later they are still not fully functional, with armed groups remaining outside their cantonment camps. These camps were established to register, screen and disarm soldiers and facilitate the selection of members for recruitment into the police, army and other security institutions.
But troops have continued to desert cantonment camps due to poor living conditions and food shortages. So delays and missed deadlines have hindered the process of creating a unified South Sudan People’s Defence Forces, which will replace the Sudan People’s Liberation Army.
There is also some confusion on the unification ratios of the army command, with Machar denying that he agreed to the SPLA In Opposition receiving only 40% of the positions. This stance echos his pattern of reversals of commitments under the transitional government.
Machar’s attempted ouster is linked to a bid to prevent the unification of the armed forces
These challenges show just how precarious the political context and institutional frameworks are that underpin the reforms. The recent attempted overthrown of Machar as opposition party head is evidence of this. The disagreements within the SPLA In Opposition also led to the resignation of the party’s deputy Henry Odwar from the transitional government. Odwar has issued a scathing criticism of Machar that mentioned his negligence of opposition forces in cantonment areas.
Machar’s spokesperson accused Dual’s rival faction of leading the attempted ouster in a bid to prevent the unification of the armed forces. Tensions between Machar and the SPLA In Opposition’s military wing could have violent repercussions that further disrupt the country’s reform process.
Resolving these tensions and getting the unification of the armed forces back on track won’t be easy. A vital step is ensuring that the Joint Military Ceasefire Commission and Area Joint Military Ceasefire Committees are fully functional to enable the creation of a single defence force for the country. Ultimately though, reviving South Sudan’s reforms will depend on the political commitment of the country’s leaders, particularly the opposition, to the 2018 peace agreement.
Sudan wants to receive economic assistance from Russia for allowing the latter to build a naval base in the country.
Khartoum is willing to lease the port to Moscow for five years, and is offering to extend the lease period for 25 years, Sudanese military told Russia’s state-owned RIA Novosti news agency.
The base will be used for repairs and the resupply of Russian military vessels including nuclear submarines. Russia will also be able to import and export weapons, ammunition and supplies for the warships, duty-free and exempt from scrutiny. In return, Sudan will receive free assistance in search-and-rescue operations and support in anti-sabotage efforts from Russia, as per reports.
A draft deal published by the Russian government earlier this year said the Navy will station up to four warships and up to 300 service members in the Sudanese port.
In June, the chief of staff of the Sudanese Armed Forces, Muhammad Usman al-Hussein, announced a possible revision of the agreement.
Earlier this year, reports claimed that Sudan was freezing the agreement on the establishment of a Russian military base in the Red Sea. The Russian embassy in Khartoum, however, dismissed the “unfounded” reports saying they have not been formally notified of this suspension and that activities at the port continue under terms of a 2019 agreement to set up the service base.
Sudan and Russia signed several military cooperation agreements related to training, knowledge exchange and ship visits during a trip by deposed President Omar Al-Bashir to Moscow in 2017. Sudan’s Navy had taken delivery of a training vessel donated by Russia as part of bilateral military cooperation between the two countries. Donating the ship was part of a deal to for Russian to set up the naval base.
CELEBRATING THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER FOR THE SUDANS, 1 OCTOBER, 2021
Twenty-two years ago, on October 2, 1999, the Sudan Prayer Network lead by the Holy Spirit called for an International Day of Prayer for Sudan. The Sudans Prayer Network again call on Christians from many nations to on October 1, 2021, reflect how God changed Sudan during the past 22 years and how believers and the Church could pray for the Sudans now.
Additional prayer information would be supplied and updated through this link.For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
As we look back and forward, we want to offer up a Psalm of Praise to the Lord.
Here are some verses from Psalm 145 (New King James
A Praise of David
I will extol You, my God, O King; And I will bless
Your name forever and ever. 2 Every day I will bless You, And I will
praise Your name forever and ever.3 Great is the Lord, and greatly to be
praised; And His greatness is unsearchable. LORD
, we praise You . You are to be exalted above all things and great is Your Name
among the nations ; great is Your Name over the countries of Sudan and S Sudan.
4 One generation shall praise Your works to another, And shall declare Your mighty acts. 6 Men shall speak of the might of Your awesome acts, And I will declare Your greatness. We thank You for all the changes we see in Sudan and for Your Holy Spirit at work; we acknowledge that it is Your doing and it brings glory to Your Name.
8 The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, Slow to anger and great in mercy. 9 The Lord is good to all, And His tender mercies are over all His works. You have answered prayers prayed over many years; how good You are and how faithful in all Your ways. We give you a shout of praise and raise up thanksgiving with joy to You!
10 All Your works shall praise You, O Lord, And Your saints shall bless You. 11 They shall speak of the glory of Your kingdom, And talk of Your power, 12 To make known to the sons of men His mighty acts, And the glorious majesty of His kingdom. We declare that You are Lord over Sudan and S Sudan and we look to the day when: ” At that time tribute will be brought to the Lord of hosts from a people tall and smooth,from a people feared near and far, a nation mighty and conquering,whose land the rivers divide, to Mount Zion, the place of the name of the Lord of hosts.” We remind You of the Prophecy in Isaiah 18 regarding Sudan. May we wait expectantly for that day!
18 The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth. 19 He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He also will hear their cry and save them. 20 The Lord preserves all who love Him, But all the wicked He will destroy. We have seen rulers come and go; we have seen You remove wicked men from the place of authority. We pray that You will save them and that they will respond to the Gospel that has been shared with them. We pray that You will hear their cry even if they are not calling You but when they call out for God, You will answer them.
21 My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord, And all flesh shall bless His holy name Forever and ever. As we give You thanks and praise, we acknowledge our complete dependence on You, on Your Word and on Your timing. Teach us to work with You and to ‘ occupy ‘ until You come; to be busy with the King of Kings. You are the First and You are the Last; we praise You and will tell of the greatness of Your Name.
Negotiations around the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) dispute between the Nile basin countries has been stalled since Ethiopia completed the second filling of the dam. Contrary to Egypt’s fears, the dam is yet to be fully constructed and completely filled. Meanwhile, Algeria is preparing to begin a round of mediation between Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia.
Egypt has been quiet for about a month over the GERD situation until President Abdel Fattah El Sisi stated recently that a binding agreement must be reached and that Ethiopia is maintaining a low profile on its water consumption and not disclosing accurate figures.
It is believed that Egypt has been cautious for the past few weeks over the GERD crisis as local tensions refuelled in Ethiopia and the Egyptian state has been waiting and observing the domestic situation.
The incomplete filling of the dam and the delayed construction also provided Egyptians with a sigh of relief.
Algeria tried last month to mediate between the parties but failed to reach any breakthrough. Its subsequent efforts have been stalled due to the wildfire crisis in the Mediterranean during the summer. Egypt’s Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources, Mohamed Abdel-Ati, appeared cautious in remarks to AlJazeera, stating that if Algerian efforts do not lead to results, there is no point in them.
Late last month, the Sudanese prime minister, Abdalla Hamdok, anticipated that a solution to the GERD issue will soon be reached “within the framework of international law”, and praised Algeria’s initiative to solve the crisis.
However, experts indicated that any solution is not likely to happen soon because the Ethiopian state is unlikely to change its position given the current domestic political and security situation.
September 9 – 2021 TABIT / SARAF OMRA / ABBASIYA / UM RAWABA
A gang of seven armed men in military uniforms riding camels and motor cycles, attacked the area of Khartoum Jadeed, north of Tabit in Tawila locality, North Darfur on Tuesday. In separate incidents on the same day, bandits beat and robbed passengers on the road from Saraf Omra to Meleisa, Saraf Omra on North Darfur. Another armed robbery was reported in Kordofan on the road from Abbasiya to Um Rawaba.
Listeners from Tawila locality told Radio Dabanga that the 17-year-old one was gang raped, and two people were injured when the seven attackers fired indiscriminately.
The rape victim, as well as to people injured by the gunfire, named as Yahya Suleiman and a man called Abdelrahman were taken to a hospital in Tawila. The perpetrators fled in the direction of Kolgi.
Relatives of the victims filed reports with the army in Khazan Tunjur, who said that they were unable to pursue the perpetrators.
Also on Tuesday, a number of people were injured in an armed robbery on the road from Saraf Omra to Meleisa in North Darfur.
Matar Abdelrahman told Radio Dabanga from Meleisa, that three armed men riding a motorcycle blocked the way of a vehicle returning from the weekly market in Saraf Omra to the Meleisa area.
The gunmen beat the people with the butts of their rifles, which led to their injuries to varying degrees. They then robbed them of their money and mobile telephones.
The injured were transferred to the Health Unit Centre in Meleisa. The robbers fled to Saraf Omra, Abdelrahman said.
At least one person was injured in an attack by armed men riding a motorcycle in the area of Kalkal, 4 km southeast of Saraf Omra in North Darfur.
Mohamed Khater told Radio Dabanga that three armed men intercepted a horse and cart returning from the Saraf Omra weekly market to the Kalkal area. The gunmen robbed the passengers of their money and belongings, he said.
On the Abbasiya-Um Rawaba road on Tuesday, three armed men in civilian clothes stole money and mobile devices from passengers. Mansour Ahmed told Radio Dabanga that three armed men, one of whom was riding a motorcycle, intercepted their vehicle while en route from Abbasiya in South Kordofan to Um Rawaba in North Kordofan.
“The gunmen stopped our vehicle, unloaded the passengers and stole our mobile phones and money at gunpoint, and then released us,” he reported. “A quarter of an hour after we left the scene, we found another vehicle abandoned, which had been stolen by the same group.”
Ahmed said that South and North Kordofan are witnessing a surge of armed robberies without any response to appeals the security services.
The death toll of victims of the torrential rains and floods in Sudan this year has risen to 79, and tens of thousands of people have been displaced throughout the country since the beginning of the rainy season. Heavy to very heavy rainfall is expected continue in southern and central parts of Sudan until at least September 14, according to the IGAD Climate Prediction and Application Centre (ICPAC).
The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) says that the flooding of the White Nile led to the displacement of more than 60,000 people, including 35,000 refugees from El Gana camp in White Nile state. The agency appealed to the government of Sudan to intervene urgently to divert the river’s water away from residential areas.
Sudan’s Civil Defence Department said that torrential rains and floods in White Nile state swept through the Jouda area of and caused the collapse of half of the residential homes and the displacement of 15,000 people, and that water levels are constantly increasing.
In its latest Floods Flash Update publishedtoday, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) quotes figures by the Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC) that heavy rains and flooding have affected over 102,000 people across the country since the start of the rainy season in July. Close to 15,000 homes have been damaged and over 5,500 homes destroyed.
While the Sudanese government, led by HAC, and humanitarian partners have started the provision of life-saving assistance to affected people, OCHA says that Prepositioned relief items are being depleted and with the increase in the number of people affected, there is an urgent need to replenish stocks.
As reported by Radio Dabanga yesterday, floods have caused what local authorities described as ‘catastrophic devastation’ in White Nile state, and extra boats have been deployed on the river to evacuate people who have been stranded by floodwater since the beginning of the week. Official sources say that the main stream of the Nile at Atbara had risen since Monday, but was still almost a metre below 2020 flood levels.