Darfur relief convoys brave perils amid ongoing conflict

Nyala, South Darfur’s capital, braces for a significant relief convoy due early next week, offering the much-needed aid to those beleaguered by the enduring conflict between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) since mid-April.

Communication with Nyala remains severed, highlighting the isolation faced by its residents. In a recent development, the SAF’s 16th Division stationed in Nyala announced they repelled an attack by the RSF, leading to the apparent “strengthening of security measures” in the region.

Sources told Radio Dabanga that a convoy covering 920 kilometres between Kosti in White Nile state and El Fasher, capital of North Darfur, now takes eight days, a journey that should normally take just under a day – showcasing the immense challenges posed by the persistent conflict.

Convoy attack

On September 30, a large convoy from Port Sudan arrived in El Fasher. The convoy, protected by the Darfur Joint Force, was attacked on the way by gunmen blocking the road in El Kuma, North Darfur, killing three people and injuring five others.

The convoy included 25 lorries carrying humanitarian aid, medicines, agricultural improvement tools, 100 fuel tankers, 1,290 lorries loaded with commercial merchandise, 170 vehicles with civil registry tools, and several travel buses.

Troops from the Darfur Joint Force providing protection for the convoy are comprised of former rebel combatants who signed the Juba Peace Agreement in October 2020.

Maj Ahmed Hussein, spokesperson for the Darfur Joint Force, states that, “The convoy travelled from Kosti in White Nile state via North and West Kordofan to North Darfur,” underlining the challenges faced by humanitarian efforts amidst the volatile situation.