On a hot pavement, Ibrahim Said expects to withdraw his savings from a Sudanese bank, but the wait feels as interminable as the country’s banking system.
Said is one of dozens of depositors queuing outside a Bank of Khartoum branch in Madani, a city some 160 kilometers (100 miles) southeast of the capital, to retrieve their funds.
“I have been here since seven in the morning hoping to withdraw money from my account,” he told AFP.
Said, one of half a million individuals who evacuated Khartoum for safer cities, fled with what little money he had in the house when the capital was shaken on April 15 by air strikes and shelling that hasn’t stopped since.
He is now unable to access his savings while combat between the army under General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and his deputy-turned-foe Mohamed Hamdan Daglo’s paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) continues.
Ishraq al-Rih has been visiting the same bank branch for three days, and each time it is the same.
“At around 3:00 pm, they open the doors, let in a very small number of people, and if you’re not one of the lucky ones you have to come back the next day,” she said.
Every day comes greater anxiety as people ration their cash to make ends meet, frightened of what images of plundered banks and empty safes uploaded online means for their money.