Sudan conflict uproots 2.5M, Darfur streets filled with bodies, UN reports
The United Nations has revealed on Tuesday that over 2.5 million individuals have been displaced as a result of the ongoing conflict in Sudan. The situation is particularly dire in the western region of Darfur, where the streets are littered with the lifeless bodies of those who were unable to escape.
A temporary three-day ceasefire, set to conclude at dawn on Wednesday, provided a brief respite for the war-ravaged capital, Khartoum. The city has been gripped by violence since April 15, when clashes erupted between two rival generals.
However, as the relatively respected 72-hour truce neared its end, a massive fire engulfed the intelligence headquarters in Khartoum. An army source alleged that the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) had “bombarded the building and caused the fire,” while a paramilitary source countered by claiming that “an army drone bombed the building, where RSF fighters had gathered.”
According to the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project, the conflict has already claimed the lives of more than 2,000 people across the country. The clash involves the army, led by Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, and the RSF, commanded by his former deputy, Mohamed Hamdan Daglo.
El Geneina, the capital of West Darfur state and a region plagued by extreme violence, has experienced a staggering death toll. The US State Department estimates that up to 1,100 individuals have been killed there alone. The United Nations has expressed concerns about possible “crimes against humanity” in Darfur, emphasizing that the conflict has taken on an ethnic dimension.
The streets of El Geneina are now marked by the presence of bodies, with shops either abandoned or looted. One lifeless body lay covered on the asphalt, while another was found partially curled up outside a house. Several more individuals were discovered lying face down together on a dirt road.
Terrified residents have fled the city en masse, taking whatever possessions they could carry as they make their way towards the Chad border. Many have recounted being targeted by armed fighters and subjected to invasive searches during their perilous journey.
The State Department’s spokesman, Matthew Miller, primarily attributes the “atrocities” in West Darfur to the RSF. Similarly, Volker Perthes, the UN’s Sudan mission chief, has referred to reports of attacks “allegedly committed by Arab militias and some armed men” in RSF uniforms.
The Doctors Without Borders (MSF) charity, overwhelmed by the influx of wounded individuals seeking refuge in Chad, reported that nearly 900 injured and 15,000 Sudanese refugees from the El Geneina area have arrived in the Chadian town of Adre in the past four days.
To date, over 150,000 people have fled Darfur and sought refuge in Chad, according to the UN. The International Organization for Migration estimates that the total number of displaced individuals as a result of the conflict has surpassed 2.5 million, including approximately 550,000 who have sought refuge abroad.
Filippo Grandi, the head of the UN’s refugee agency, expressed concerns about the escalating insecurity, urging neighboring countries to keep their borders open to those fleeing for their lives.
At a conference in Geneva on Monday, donors pledged nearly $1.5 billion to combat the humanitarian crisis in Sudan and support neighboring countries hosting the displaced individuals. However, this amount falls significantly short of the estimated requirements.
The UN reports that more than half of Sudan’s population, approximately 25 million people, require humanitarian aid. Eddie Rowe, the Sudan director of the World Food Program, stated that the humanitarian