South Darfur lawlessness: ‘Most vulnerable worst hit’

A woman from the Kassab camp in Kutum, North Darfur, shows her sorrow arohnd the increase of rapes in the area (file photo: Albert González Farran / UNAMID)

South Darfur’s capital of Nyala experienced a temporary calm following intense clashes between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), which continued into the early hours of Wednesday. However, various reports have since emerged of killings, rapes, and looting, given the complete breakdown of the region’s infrastructure and security situation.

Eyewitnesses informed Radio Dabanga of widespread looting, particularly in the southern neighbourhoods of Nyala. Adding to the strain, the city has endured a complete blackout for two weeks due to power outages. Residents report that they lack basic commodities as their salaries remain unpaid.

A woman was killed on her farm in Mershing in South Darfur on Tuesday evening. Locals in the area mourned her death and called on the United Nations and organisations to provide security, citing the complete absence of protection.

In a separate incident in Mershing the same day, five women fell victim to a vicious sexual assault by armed militants riding camels.

According to eyewitness Suleiman Ibrahim, armed assailants reportedly attacked the women whilst they were farming and subjected them to rape and beatings with whips, “leaving them in dire need of psychological and health support”.

Their injuries and trauma were further exacerbated by the “lack of medical facilities in the region,” he said.

Activist Adam Abdelrahman appealed to the youth and native administration to stand against these violations, which target civilians in specific areas within Darfur.

He added that the escalating security challenges and humanitarian crises demand urgent attention and “effective measures to protect vulnerable communities”.