Deadly Sudan Army-RSF clashes spark human tragedy, widespread looting in Darfur

Photos of the aftermath of looting in Nyala, South Darfur, widely shared on social media


The conflict between the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) under command of Lt Gen Abdelfattah El Burhan, and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) militia commanded by Lt Gen Mohamed ‘Hemedti’ Dagalo, which began in the national capital Khartoum on Saturday and has since spread to all corners of Sudan, continues for the third day in a row. Dozens of civilians have been killed or wounded across the Darfur region of Sudan and widespread looting has been reported.

Speaking to Radio Dabanga from the South Darfur capital Nyala, where an estimated 22 people have died since the start of the clashes, El Tayeb Eisa confirms that the offices of the state’s Ministries of Finance, Local Affairs, Education, and Customs were looted on Sunday and Monday. He also reports that the premises of UNICEF were looted, as well as other international organisations.

Eisa says most people stayed at home. However, four people died when El Maljah market was completely ransacked on Sunday morning.

The clashes are concentrated in the east and south of the city, Issa says. The water supply has been cut, all shops that have not been looted are closed, and there is a shortage of bread, which is adding to people’s suffering.


Residents of Nyala told Radio Dabanga that the clashes forced residents of El Wadi, El Geer, El Sereif, and some neighbourhoods adjacent to army and RSF positions to flee other parts of the city.

They confirmed that the market and some neighbourhoods in the city witnessed acts of looting, including theft of private property by what they termed ‘outlaws’.

Shelling kills woman and children

Speaking to Radio Dabanga from El Salam camp for displaced people near Nyala, Mahjoub Tabaldiya, says that a woman and two children were killed when shell sit the camp during the clashes. He says that a general state of fear and panic prevails.

The clashes have cut the camp itself off from the city of Nyala, so that there is anow a shortage of water, food, and medicine, he says.

Tabaldiya voiced condolences to the World Food Programme (WFP), and condemned the killing of three WFP staff in Kabkabiya, however, appealed to the organisation to reverse the decision to suspend its operations in Sudan, warning of the dire consequences of the decision on the displaced.

He called on international agencies and the United Nations for urgent intervention.

Tragedy in El Fasher

In El Fasher, capital of North Darfur, hospitals are struggling to cope with the high number of wounded. Radio Dabanga’s correspondent revealed that two shells exploded in El Jama neighbourhood which resulted in deaths and injuries. They are being counted and taken to the police hospital and El Fasher in the south for treatment. The number of victims in El Fasher and Abu Shouk camp is estimated at 11 dead and 90 wounded.

Witnesses say that the SAF are in control of the General Command in El Fasher. The SAF called on residents of surrounding neighbourhoods to leave their homes and is targeting RSF positions in El Manhal camp and El Ghaba neighbourhood.

Callers warned of growing chaos, saying that shops in El Fasher’s main market, as well as the livestock market, have already been looted, forcing merchants to retreat into their stores for protection.

All government institutions are closed until further notice.

Burial committee

The Wal (governor) of North Darfur, Nimir Abdelrahman, has formed a committee, headed by himself, to collect the bodies of victims of the clashes to give them a proper burial and to transport the wounded to hospitals.

The committee held its first meeting at the police headquarters in North Darfur today and resolved to search for bodies and collect them for burial.

The governor confirmed the looting of welfare organisations, stressing readiness to secure UN premises, markets, and strategic areas, from the “outlaws”.

He explains that several electricity poles have fallen, which is why the electricity has not yet been restored. He also confirmed the readiness of the Police Hospital to receive the injured.

The members of the committee called for the mobilisation of medical personnel, and the use of civil administrations, to persuade the two parties to stop the fighting once and for all inside El Fasher.

Clashes in El Geneina

The West Darfur capital El Geneina witnessed battles between army and RSF forces in the western part of the city. Sultan Saad Bahreldin, the sultan of the Masalit tribe in West Darfur, confirmed that the battle lasted for about an hour and a half, but stopped at noon on Monday.

In an interview with Radio Dabanga, he described the situation in El Geneina as turbulent and unstable, with sounds of gunfire being heard, and a state of fear and panic among the public, most of whom are sheltering in their homes.

Sultan Saad Bahreldin appealed to the SAF and RSF “to invoke the voice of reason”.

Zalingei battle

On Monday morning, Zalingei in Central Darfur witnessed an exchange of fire between the SAF and RSF. A caller told Radio Dabanga that there is heavy gunfire between the army garrison and the RSF stationed in the former security headquarters.

The witness says that at noon on Saturday, the RSF mounted an attack on the army garrison and attempted to enter the city, but the SAF repelled them.

The heavy gunfire forced the patients and doctors to flee the hospital. The bodies of RSF cadres killed on Sunday are still lying in the open at in the market area.

RSF controls Kabkabiya

Callers report that RFP troops have occupied and taken control of the town of Kabkabiya in North Darfur, where three employees of the UN World Food Programme (WFP) died, prompting the organisation to suspend operations.

Chaos ensued after the RSF took control of the military garrison. Some shops in the market were looted, while a number of people were robbed of rickshaws and vehicles at gunpoint.

The commander of the RSF troops agreed to protect the market with a joint force with the police after a request from the civil administration.

This is a developing story…