For the second time in three weeks, West Darfur’s Geneina was at the centre of senseless fighting over the weekend, just hours after the announcement of the Jeddah agreement. At least 280 people were killed, according to the Sudan doctors’ syndicate, and many more injured.
“The appalling levels of violence unfolding in West Darfur are nothing short of inhumane,” said William Carter, NRC’s country director for Sudan. “Scarcely had the two warring parties signed the Jeddah Agreement on Thursday night when chaos erupted once again in Geneina. One of our staff members was injured, and each day brings news of people burying their loved ones who fell victim to the senseless fighting.”
Today marks one month since the eruption of fighting in Sudan. The destruction and civilian death toll continue to rise despite repeated announcements of ceasefires and the Jeddah Declaration of Commitment to Protect the Civilians of Sudan signed last Thursday.
Within Geneina, an estimated 100,000 internally displaced people remain at the mercy of the relentless violence, with settlements once again being reduced to ashes. Trapped civilians have endured three days of incessant shelling, devastating their homes. This recent escalation of violence follows a major bout of fighting in April, during which nearly 200 lives were lost. For weeks, the residents of Geneina have been stranded within the city, unable to escape, cut off from vital healthcare and basic necessities. Additionally, electricity and network blackouts have severely hampered communication, exacerbating the dire circumstances.
Across Sudan, the conflict has displaced nearly 1 million people since 15 April, with approximately 200,000 seeking refuge in neighbouring countries.
“We are still unable to deliver emergency aid in Khartoum and Geneina, where the fighting has displaced most of our colleagues, said Carter. “The shutdown of the banking system and the lack of visa issuance into the country further hinder large-scale humanitarian relief efforts. Make no mistake: the conflict in Sudan shows no signs of abating – it is imperative that the international community redouble their efforts to hold the warring parties accountable for the protection of civilians.”