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85,000 people forced into secondary displacement in Geneina, Sudan: OCHA

Many humanitarian organisations' buildings were attacked and looted, which has limited civilians' access to aid and services.

May 22, 2023 at 4:38 pm

Five weeks into the clashes in Sudan between the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF), 85,000 people have been forced into “secondary displacement” in the northern parts of  Geneina, the capital of West Darfur, after “all 86 gathering sites for displaced people throughout Geneina have reportedly been burnt to the ground,” the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a statement.

The UN office added that all Geneina’s markets have been destroyed, leaving the civilians unable to buy basic foodstuff, and that the municipal electricity network is out of order, which has left most of the water supply points not functioning.

Many humanitarian organisations’ buildings were attacked and looted, which has limited civilians’ access to aid and services, in addition to the difficulty faced by doctors and medical personnel in reaching the wounded to provide assistance or in removing dead bodies.

READ: 18 civilians killed in clashes in Sudans Darfur: Medics

Since mid-April, Sudan has been witnessing clashes between SAF, led by Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, and the RSS, led by Muhammad Hamdan Dagalo (Hemedti), in the capital, Khartoum, and other cities in the north and west of the country.

The OCHA mentioned the Agreement on a Short-Term Ceasefire and Humanitarian Arrangements that was signed in Saudi Arabia on 20 May.

The ceasefire was announced by Saudi Arabia and the United States and will enter into force Monday evening and last for a week. Talks between the warring parties are to continue in Jeddah, in an attempt to reach a permanent end to the fighting and a solution to the conflict through dialogue.

Since the SAF-RSF clashes broke out on 15 April, at least 705 people have been killed and 5,287 wounded, including 203 dead and 3,254 wounded in Khartoum and 280 people killed and 160 wounded in Geneina on 15 May as a result of an attack by armed militiamen dressed as the RSF, according to the Sudanese Doctors Syndicate (PCSDS).

Since 2003, military conflict between the army and armed rebel movements in the Darfur region has killed 300,000 people and displaced 2.5 million others, according to the UN, while Khartoum says that the death toll is under 10,000. Darfur is inhabited by around 7 million people.

READ: Sudans army, RSF agree to 7-day humanitarian truce, cease-fire