Nearly 100 civilians dead in SAF-RSF ‘absurd and bloody’ clashes

Dark skies in Khartoum as clashes continued for the fifth day (social media)

KHARTOUM – April 17, 2023

The Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors (CCSD) reported earlier today that at least 97 people have died as “the absurd and bloody fighting between the Sudan Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces” continued for a second day yesterday. More fierce fighting was reported this morning.

“A large number of deaths and moderate and critical injuries among innocent, unarmed civilians were reported,” the organisation wrote in its inventory of yesterday’s clashes.

The doctors’ committee recorded 41 civilian deaths in Sudan yesterday, April 16. “Thus, the number of civilian deaths since the beginning of the clashes reached 97.”

The records indicate that 942 people, both civilians and military personnel, were wounded. At least 347 injuries were recorded yesterday only.

Voice of reason

The CCSD called upon the warring parties “to listen to the voice of reason and stop this war immediately and allow safe passages to be opened to evacuate the detainees, the stranded, the wounded, and the injured”.

‘Listen to the voice of reason and stop this war immediately’ – CCSD

“We also note that hospitals and health facilities are not military shelters and have their own privacy and sanctities. Violating them is a crime against humanity, values, and morals.”

The doctors stressed that treaties and covenants should not be violated.

Hospitals are reportedly crowing with patients as more and more wounded arrive. The BBC reported that patients in two hospitals in Khartoum are pleading for safe passage out of the hospital as fighting intensifies.

Former Minister of Foreign Affairs Mariam El Sadig El Mahdi told the BBC that besieged hospitals are running short on medical supplies and cannot operate oxygen machines due to electricity outages.

“They have used all the gasoline they have to run the generators,” she said. “It is really very, very bad… and we don’t know when it will end.”


Yesterday, a ceasefire was called in to allow for the wounded to be evacuated. The ceasefire allowed many people, trapped in their buildings when the shooting started, to move, either to buy food, find their way back to their families, or bring injured people to the hospital.

Commander of the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) Lt Gen Abdelfattah El Burhan and Gen Mohamed Hamdan ‘Hemeti’ Dagalo, Commander of the Rapid Support Forces, agreed to a proposal by UNITAMS head Volker Perthes and the AU-IGAD-UN Trilateral Mechanism to commit to a temporary ceasefire between 16:00-19:00 yesterday.

Shooting reportedly continued in Khartoum during the ceasefire. Many people fear for their lives and worry about access to food and water if the fighting does not stop soon.

Social media users placed updates throughout the ceasefire, reporting on the continued shootings and violations. “There is still gunfire at 18:17” and “shooting still continues in Khartoum North and it’s almost 17:00,” some users wrote.

Others echoed that “it failed miserably!”. “Injured civilians are trapped in their homes in Khartoum 2. No water, no electricity. People literally can’t get away from the centre of fights.”

A fourth user explained that “many have been trapped/stranded without food, drink, or medicine” and highlighted that it is Ramadan, so many are fasting. They also spoke of extensive power and water outages in the city.

Sudan’s Emergency Lawyers called on both parties to declare a 24-hour ceasefire so that civilians can fulfill their needs to find food, medicine, water, and electricity, retrieve bodies, and evacuate those who got stranded when the fighting abruptly broke out.

International parties have called on the SAF and RSF to cease fighting and expressed their horror over the killing of three humanitarian workers of the UN World Food Programme (WFP).