Heavy fighting and artillery shelling between the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) continued in Nyala, South Darfur, as it did elsewhere in Sudan. Displacement from El Fasher and nearby localities in North Darfur increased.
The Nyala Emergency Room, set up by activist professionals in the city, reported that the number of injuries is large and exceeds the capacity of the Turkish Hospital, the only hospital in Nyala that is not out of service.
They said that there have been many deaths since fighting renewed and that it is very difficult and dangerous to transport injured people to the hospital because of the fighting. There is also an acute shortage of health personnel and volunteers, and there are no blood bags or fuel.
Shortages of medicines and equipment at hospitals have become a country-wide crisis, as logistics, supply, and power outages stress facilities beyond their limits.
Other sources reported that doctors have turned their homes into field hospitals to help injured people who could not reach the hospital.
The emergency room also reported the continued disruption of communications and internet networks in the South Darfur capital and said that limited communication was possible through the MTN network via text messages.
The RSF accused the SAF’s 16th Infantry Division of plundering the offices of the Central Bank of Sudan (CBoS) and other bank branches in Nyala since the war began in mid-April, and of seizing depositors’ money and gold markets.
In a statement yesterday, the RSF militia also accused the army of indiscriminate shelling of residential neighbourhoods in the South Darfur capital, killing hundreds of civilians and displacing thousands of families.
Governor of the Darfur Region Minni Minawi described the situation in Nyala as “a real tragedy” yesterday and said that Friday’s battles left dozens dead and hundreds more injured.
In a post on Twitter, Minawi called on donors and organisations to urgently provide the necessary medical supplies.
The Darfur People’s Forum, consisting of elders from the region, condemned the fighting that renewed in Nyala last week and called on the warring parties to seek peace.
In a statement yesterday, the forum said that the ongoing killing, intimidation, displacement, and destruction of homes and infrastructure amount to war crimes.
The elders lauded “all concerted efforts to stop this war, especially the popular efforts taking place in El Fasher and all practical efforts aimed at stopping the fighting in Nyala, to restore normal life and throughout the Darfur region as soon as possible”.
El Fasher displaced
The situation in North Darfur capital El Fasher is calm after clashes took place on Friday between RSF and fighters of the Sudan Liberation Movement split-off faction under the leadership of El Sadig El Foka* (SLM El Foka), in which several civilians were injured as missiles fell on houses in the northern parts of the town.
Speaking to Radio Dabanga yesterday, residents of El Fasher reported that the eastern and northern neighbourhoods. which are now controlled by RSF soldiers, are suffering from a terrible deterioration of the humanitarian situation, especially with a deterioration of health and water services and repeated long power outages.
Displacement from El Fasher and nearby localities has increased with the recent clashes and further deterioration of humanitarian conditions.
It is difficult for residents to escape to the southern parts of the city, which are under the control of the SAF and where most important facilities such as hospitals and markets are located.
Yet, the southern neighbourhoods already suffer from overcrowding, especially after the influx of people who fled the northern and eastern neighbourhoods to makeshift shelters in schools during earlier clashes.
Local resident Khalda Mohamed said that the conditions in El Fasher are bad, with a lack of water, electricity, and other basic services. Some consumer goods coming from Libya are available at local markets but the fact that salaries have remained unpaid for the past five months means that most people struggle to afford and access basic consumer goods.
She added that mosquitoes are increasing in numbers in El Fasher now the rainy season has started, which has already led to the spread of malaria and diarrhoea. The Rainy Season Emergency Committee has been absent because of the war, which means that pesticide spraying campaigns were not organised to limit mosquito spread.
The Zain communications network has been disrupted for the third consecutive day, making communications with the town difficult.
* El Sadig Abdelkarim, nicknamed El Foka, was one of the most prominent leaders of the mainstream Sudan Liberation Movement led by Abdelwahid El Nur (SLM-AW) in the Jebel Marra mountain range in central Darfur. After fighting for the movement for more than 10 years, he and 1,500 fellow combatants defected from the SLM-AW. They signed a peace agreement with the North Darfur government in January 2017 under the name of the Sudan Liberation Movement for Peace and Development.