Nearly a million Sudanese now displaced by SAF-RSF clashes
KHARTOUM / OMDURMAN / KHARTOUM NORTH – May 15, 2023
Battles continued in Sudan between the Sudanese army and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) this weekend, despite the two parties signing a declaration of principles in the Saudi city of Jeddah on Thursday. The situation in Khartoum North is described as ‘catastrophic’.
The army and RSF fought each other in the southern neighbourhoods of Khartoum, in Khartoum North (Bahri), and in Omdurman yesterday.
Exactly one month after the conflict erupted on April 15, 31 days ago, the death toll is still unknown.
The United Nations stated yesterday that more than 750 people have been killed and over 5,000 others injured.
The real death toll is expected to be much higher as the records are often based on hospital registers but many bodies are left on the street and most are not identified or registered.
The resistance committee of the El Mughtaribeen neighbourhood in Khartoum reported a large number of corpses along the roads, spreading an awful smell. RSF soldiers threatened people who wanted to remove the bodies.
Since the start of the conflict, nearly a million people (over 936,000) have been newly displaced, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported today. This number includes 736,200 people displaced internally and 200,000 who have crossed into neighbouring countries.
Sudan already had 3.7 million displaced people as of November 2022, according to UN OCHA.
The Civil Aviation Authority in Sudan extended the closure of airspace yesterday until May 31, which applies to all air traffic. According to the Sudan News Agency (SUNA), the decision excludes humanitarian aid and evacuation flights after obtaining a permit from the relevant authorities.
In Omdurman, warplanes targeted RSF sites. Residents told Radio Dabanga from Omdurman that air strikes and anti-aircraft shootings continued in the neighbourhoods of Salha and El Muraba’at.
The RSF also accused the army of bombing the Kandahar Cattle Market in western Omdurman, adjacent to the large bus station for travels to northern Sudan and the Egyptian border.
Listeners in Khartoum reported the bombing of the military base in Soba, the area in the vicinity of the El Medina El Riyadiya, and in El Shegeilaab. Bombs destroyed a mosque and a number of houses in southern Khartoum, which led to deaths and injuries.
The battles continued in central Khartoum as well. The army announced its control of the Soug El Arabi in the city centre on Saturday.
From Khartoum North, Radio Dabanga received reports on RSF attempting to restore their positions.
Fighting also continues in Northern State, North Kordofan, East, South, Central, and West Darfur, El Gedaref, and Blue Nile region.
NetBlocks, an organisation concerned with monitoring Internet services, reported a renewed collapse of Internet services in Sudan.
The network said that Internet service in Sudan fell to 1 per cent of normal levels on Saturday.
There was an outage of telecommunications and internet services, despite the announcement by operator companies that the service was back on.
NetBlocks also indicated an acute shortage of electricity and fuel in large parts of the country due to the ongoing armed conflict.
People described the situation in many neighbourhoods of Khartoum North as “catastrophic”, noting that the water supply has been cut off for more than a month. The power outages in the past days caused all mobile telephones to be turned off.
Residents also described an unprecedented massive spread of looting and theft gangs.
Residents of Kafouri are exposed to “sheer war crimes”, the resistance committee of the wealthy neighbourhood reported via social media. The committee said that the RSF killed a number of people in Kafouri, raided shops and homes, robbed the people of their property and vehicles, and occupied a number of villas.
The committee further reported a lack of water and electricity due to the war and accused RSF of restricting the movement of people fleeing to safer areas.