Renewed Clashes in Sudan’s El-Fasher Kill 27, UN Reports

Sun May 12 2024
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PORT SUDAN: Clashes reignited between the Sudanese army and rival paramilitaries earlier this week in the key Darfur town of El-Fasher, the United Nations said on Sunday, killing at least 27 people in one day, AFP reported.

Eyewitnesses have described a scene of intense violence in El-Fasher since Friday, with air strikes, artillery fire, and machine gun clashes ravaging the city. An estimated 850 people were displaced following an hours-long battle on Friday, according to the UN.

The death toll climbed to at least 27 on that day alone, based on “unconfirmed reports” as the city grapples with a near-total communications blackout, hindering efforts to relay information to the outside world.

Reports from eyewitnesses on Sunday indicated that the fighting continued, with continued air strikes and artillery shelling causing further destruction, including “houses on fire,” as recounted by one resident to AFP.

Sudan has been embroiled in a devastating war since April of last year, pitting the army, led by Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, against the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), commanded by his former deputy Mohamed Hamdan Daglo.

The RSF has already seized control of four out of five state capitals in Darfur, leaving El-Fasher as the last major city not under paramilitary control. Concerns have been mounting within the international community, including warnings from the UN and the United States, about the possibility of a full-scale offensive on the city.

The situation in El-Fasher has raised fears of a humanitarian catastrophe, especially considering the city’s significance as a crucial hub for displaced people and aid distribution in the wider Darfur region, where 1.7 million people are teetering on the brink of famine.

Amidst the conflict, El-Fasher’s population of 1.5 million, including approximately 800,000 displaced persons, faces dire circumstances. Across Sudan, the ongoing conflict has killed tens of thousands of people, left millions in desperate need, and displaced over 8.7 million people.

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