As new evidence develops of extensive damage, the United Nations Refugee Agency is “extremely worried” about the impact that it will have on the “fragile” region.
In the province of Darfur in Sudan, fighting has broken out, involving the use of powerful weaponry and assaults on civilians and key medical facilities. This is an escalation of a conflict that was initiated by two opposing generals and has now been going on for three weeks.
The sound of gunshots resonated through the streets of the Sudanese metropolis, Khartoum, all throughout the day on Sunday, while bombs pounded the city of Omdurman, which is twinned with Khartoum.
Images of the central bank tower of Sudanese engulfed in flames were shown on a public broadcasting station in Jordan.
It has been reported that the Sudanese police force has sent Central Reserve personnel out onto the lanes of Khartoum. Sanctions were imposed on that group by the United States in 2017 due to its egregious violations of human rights, namely connected to its assaults on pro-democracy protestors and activists.
Officially, Sudan’s de facto leader of the state and the commander in chief of the Armed Forces of Sudan, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, has consented to participate in negotiations for peace in South Sudan.
Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo also referred to as Hemedti, stated that he along with the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) armed groups were willing to discuss only after a complete ceasefire was observed and honored.
Put an end to the hostilities. He informed the BBC that conversations would be possible after that step. According to the RSF, the SAA broke a fragile truce by conducting airstrikes as well as shelling civilian areas without discrimination.
Evidence of severe destruction has been slowly emerging despite an internet blackout in the majority of Darfur, located approximately 800 kilometers west of Khartoum. This is due to the fact that there are concerns that violence in Khartoum, the capital, could inflame preexisting conflicts in the region.
Toby Harward, UNHCR’s principal circumstance coordinator in Darfur, has stated that the organization is “extremely worried” that if the conflict fails to come to an instantaneous end, it might unleash communal disputes that would have a “devastating impact” on Darfur’s already fragile social structure.
Recently, intense fights broke out in the largest city of Darfur, and they spread to two other sections of the country. The fighting was between SAF along with RSF groups. Damage was done to a major clinic in North Darfur, and the United Nations offices in two different locations were reported to have been looted and destroyed.
Despite the growing violence on the battlefield in Darfur caused by local militias, local leaders in Darfur have made efforts to maintain peace on the ground. Sometimes these militias have links to Khartoum.
Observers have reported an increase in the employment of heavy armament by the RSF as well as forces associated with the SAF, which comes at a time when there are concerns that other militia groups across Darfur are equipping themselves.
Late in the week before last, the Regional Security Forces (RSF) commander in West Darfur, Major General Abdel Rahman Jumaa, broadcast a video message to people and opposing forces in the region while his troops carried firearms in the backdrop.
According to him, the RSF are successful in their efforts on the ground. Hemedti is the kind of powerful leader that Sudan requires.
In al-Geneina, which is located in West Darfur and is near surrounding Chad, sporadic violence has continued. As a result, hospitals, schools, public camps, and buildings for those who have been internally displaced are now down to not much more than burned-out shells.
According to Mohamed Osman to Human Rights Watch, the city of al-Geneina has suffered total devastation from its essential infrastructure, which includes the city’s marketplace, a medical school, and gathering spots. Complete destruction is added to the already decrepit state of the infrastructure.
A number of people in al-Geneina, particularly those who had previously worked in the medical field, estimated that as many as 250 people were killed in the recent unrest.
One previous resident of al-Geneina who begged not to be identified stated that Thursday was the bloodiest day when at least one hundred people were killed. The majority of those killed were individuals who had previously been displaced by earlier fighting and had been staying in camps.
He stated to the Guardian claimed tribal forces came from outside of West Darfur to attempt to provide support for the RSF. He also stated that internally displaced persons had seized the police headquarters in order to take firearms and fight back when they had been attacked.