On Thursday, the conflict between two opposing generals in Sudan entered its third month with no end in sight. Planes attacked a town in the south for the first time, and the regular army accused paramilitaries of “abducting and murdering” a governor in Darfur. The conflict shows no sign of abating. Several witnesses informed AFP that the Sudanese air force carried out “air strikes for the first time on El-Obeid,” which is a town located about 350 kilometers south of the capital city of Khartoum. El-Obeid is described as being “encircled by paramilitary forces since the beginning of the fighting.”
During this time, on Wednesday, the Sudanese army accused paramilitaries from the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) of having “abducted and murdered” the governor of the state of West Darfur, Khamis Abdallah Abakar. They described the crime as a “brutal act.” The Sudanese army claimed that as a result of the alleged assassination, the Rapid Support Forces have added a “new line to their list of barbaric crimes committed against all of the Sudanese people.” The AFP was unable to independently confirm that the governor had passed away.
Since it began on April 15, the violence has been focused mostly in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, which has a population of five million people, and in the enormous Darfur area, which is located in the western part of the country. According to the non-governmental organization ACLED, more than 1,800 people have lost their lives as a result of this conflict between the army led by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhane and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces led by General Mohamed Hamdane Daglo.
According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), more than 2.2 million people have abandoned their homes across the country, including more than a million from the nation’s capital, Khartoum. According to the United Nations organization, more than 528 thousand of these displaced people have found safety in the countries that are nearby. Ahmed Taha, a resident of Khartoum, told AFP that there is “no food, water, or medicine left” for the civilians who have not departed the city. Nothing is left for us to do. The country is in utter disarray. According to this witness, “everywhere you look, you can see the impact of bombs and bullets.”
In an effort to bring about a ceasefire, the United States and Saudi Arabia played the role of mediators during a period of time that lasted many weeks and took place in the city of Jeddah in Saudi Arabia. However, the several cease-fires that have been established have been almost never honored, and humanitarian aid has either been prevented from reaching people or has only reached them in extremely insufficient quantities. According to the United Nations, 25 million out of Sudan’s total population of 45 million people are dependent on humanitarian aid in order to continue living. Sudan is one of the poorest countries in the world.
Saudi Arabia made the announcement on Tuesday that an international meeting focusing on providing assistance to Sudan would be held on June 19. For his part, the head of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) delegation in Sudan, Alfonso Verdu Perez, bemoaned the fact that “only 20% of health facilities are still functioning in Khartoum” on Friday. There are entire neighborhoods that do not have access to running water, and the electricity is only on for a few hours each week.
The World Health Organization (WHO) “strongly condemned” the “growing attacks on health facilities” on Wednesday, adding that between April 15 and June 8, there had been 46 such attacks that had resulted in eight deaths and 18 injuries. Soha Abdelrahmane, a resident of Khartoum, testified that “we have been suffering and are still suffering from this war” for the past two months. She added that some cities in Darfur, such as El-Geneina and Nyala, are in a “state of siege.”
On Tuesday, Volker Perthes, the chief of the United Nations mission in Sudan, stated that he was “particularly alarmed” by the situation in Darfur, where the bloodshed could constitute “crimes against humanity.” “Large-scale attacks on civilians based on their ethnic origins, allegedly committed by Arab militias and armed men in RSF uniforms, are very concerning,” he stated. “These attacks have been carried out by Arab militias and armed men in RSF uniforms.”
On Wednesday, the Umma party, which is the primary political body in the country, asserted that El-Geneina, which is the capital of West Darfur, had become a “disaster zone,” and it demanded that international organizations deliver relief to the area. The party claimed in a statement that more than one thousand people had perished “during an abject siege and systematic violence against citizens” and labelled the violence there a “humanitarian crime in its own right.” In addition, the party said that it had committed a “humanitarian crime in its own right.”
According to the United Nations, the civil conflict that took place in Darfur in the 2000s resulted in the deaths of around 300,000 people and the displacement of nearly 2.5 million more.