Violence and deteriorating services plague Darfur

The Sudanese Red Crescent Society team collects corpses in Nyala - May 27, 2023 (Sudanese Red Crescent Society)


The West Darfur capital El Geneina is suffering from communication, power, and water supply outages, and skyrocketing prices, and is besieged by gunmen. Nyala and Zalingei also face challenges, including a breakdown of the healthcare system and security concerns.

A cautious calm is reported from El Geneina, following a recent wave of attacks and clashes. Sources report ongoing attacks on Mistri and Kulbus, with widespread destruction and a significant number of residents seeking refuge in Chad.

However, according to sources, El Geneina remains under sieged by armed gunmen from the west and east, hindering the arrival of goods and food aid. As a result, prices have soared, exacerbating the situation.

Health institutions are completely paralysed, leaving the injured without essential medical care. El Geneina has suffered from weeks-long power and water supply interruptions, as well as a communication blackout, except for “Zain network, which returned for a limited time on Thursday morning”, according to sources.

Relative calm in Nyala

In Nyala, capital of South Darfur, tensions and fears prevail despite relative calm. Local sources told Radio Dabanga that the Sudanese army “secured their position by digging trenches and closing the bridge connecting the southern and northern parts of the city”.

Major hospitals and health facilities remain non-operational. Shops have partially reopened, but prices have skyrocketed, with a kilogram of sugar reaching SDG 2,200. Banks continue to shut down due to insurance shortages.

Suffering in Zalingei

The situation in Zalingei, capital of Central Darfur, continues to deteriorate, with communications networks severed since May 17. The Coordination of Resistance Committees reports multiple deaths and widespread theft, including looting of the power station. Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and other armed men have occupied private homes, leading to further displacement.

The Zalingei Hospital is non-functional after a shell hit the premises, while most health centres affiliated with health insurance have also ceased operations. Fuel shortages and lack of essential medicines have put the dialysis centre at risk of closure. Depleted supplies and a lack of strategic goods pose a grave threat of a malnutrition crisis.