The war raging for two months has displaced the Sudan There are more than 2.5 million Sudanese between the army and the Rapid Support Forces, among the displaced and refugees, especially in Darfur, where the streets are full of corpses, according to the United Nations on Tuesday.
On the last day of a truce that has been widely observed in Khartoum since Sunday, a fire broke out on Tuesday evening at the intelligence headquarters in the capital.
An army source told AFP that the Rapid Support Forces “bombed the building”, in violation of an agreed-upon 72-hour truce that is supposed to expire on Wednesday at 06:00 local time (04:00 GMT).
A source in the Rapid Support Forces responded, saying, “An army march bombed the building where members of the Rapid Support Forces had gathered,” and indicated that the bombing “caused a fire and partial destruction of the intelligence headquarters.”
More than two thousand dead
The ongoing battles between the army led by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and the Rapid Support Forces led by General Muhammad Hamdan Dagalo left more than two thousand dead, according to estimates that experts believe are much less than the reality.
And if calm is currently prevailing in the capital, Khartoum, then in El Geneina, the city most affected by the war and located in the Darfur region (west), which witnessed the fiercest battles, deserted streets are filled with corpses and shops have been looted.
In an audio message posted on social media on Tuesday, Daglo, known as “Hemedti,” said that because of “the conflict between the tribal components in El Geneina, we ordered our forces there not to interfere.”
Daglo confirmed that he has “all information about the arming operations carried out by the Army Intelligence, and by all parties in the state, in order to ignite discord.”
For days, the residents of El Geneina have been fleeing on foot in long lines, taking with them whatever they can, hoping to reach Chad, 20 kilometers to the west.
Those fleeing the battlefield say they are shot at and searched several times on the way.
According to Doctors Without Borders, “15,000 Sudanese, including nearly 900 wounded, fled to the city of Adreh in Chad under a barrage of gunfire from the army, the Rapid Support Forces, tribal fighters and armed civilians.”
“The violence has intensified, and people live in constant fear of being targeted,” said Konstantinos Psikakos, MSF coordinator, upon his return from Adrej.
The United Nations confirms that more than 150,000 Sudanese refugees are now in Chad.
“crimes against humanity”
The United Nations, African Union and IGAD warned that the conflict “has now acquired an ethnic dimension” with “attacks on identity”.
The United Nations also talks about the possibility of “crimes against humanity”.
Across Sudan, the number of displaced people has reached “two million,” according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
For its part, the International Organization for Migration has counted more than half a million Sudanese refugees. It said that “550,000 people have fled to neighboring countries.”
During a meeting held in Geneva on Monday, the international community pledged to provide $1.5 billion in aid, which is half of what humanitarian organizations need, according to their field estimates.
25 million people, more than half of Sudan’s population, depend on humanitarian assistance to survive in a country that is sinking into destruction and violence at an “unprecedented” speed, according to the United Nations.
“Humanitarian needs have reached record levels at a time when the conflict shows no signs of ending,” said Eddie Rao, director of the World Food Program in Sudan.
At the start of the war, humanitarian organizations said they had only received 15 percent of the funds needed for their operations. And if the Geneva commitments are fulfilled, these organizations will get half of what they ask for.
“The level of funding in Sudan is shameful,” says Alexander Kjerome of the Danish Refugee Council.
He adds that in Ukraine, after two months of war, “68% of the funds needed to face the crisis were available.”
On the ground, since Sunday morning, air raids and artillery shelling have stopped in the capital, where millions of people live in high temperatures without electricity and often without water.
Corpses rotting in the scorching sun
On Tuesday, the head of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, called on Sudan’s neighboring countries to “keep their borders open.”
In an interview with Agence France-Presse in Nairobi on the occasion of World Refugee Day, Grandi said, “My appeal to all neighboring countries (of Sudan) is: I understand your security concerns, but please keep your borders open because it is about people fleeing to save their lives.”
The International Committee of the Red Cross condemned Monday’s “breach” of the truce when it prevented the “transfer of wounded soldiers” who were with the Rapid Support Forces to the army.
Lieutenant General Dagalo accused the army of “constant violations” of the truce. On the other hand, the army accused the Rapid Support Forces of “violating” the ceasefire, killing “15 civilians and wounding dozens” in the town of Tawila, Darfur.
A medical source confirmed to AFP that this number of victims had been killed in an “attack by the Rapid Support Forces.”
For his part, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned that Sudan could “quickly turn into a place of chaos, which will destabilize security in the entire region.”
With the onset of the rainy season, the risk of disease outbreaks increases.
The International Committee of the Red Cross fears the waste that accumulates and the corpses rotting under the scorching sun.
The committee warns that many are forced to drink unfit water directly from the Nile or from other sources.
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