RSF sets up base in Sudan’s Wad Madani, sparking mass displacement

Paramilitary forces have established a base in the formerly safe city of Wad Madani in war-torn Sudan, sending thousands fleeing, many of them already displaced.

Families scrambled on Sunday to once again flee to safety but found bus tickets had quadrupled to $60 a head, and many had nowhere to go.

Thousands have sought to escape the former aid hub since the war between the army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) reached Wad Madani on Friday, according to the United Nations.

But they faced prohibitive costs and other hurdles, according to AFP’s correspondent.

Previously, the city had been “one of Sudan’s few remaining sanctuaries”, according to the Norwegian Refugee Council’s Sudan director William Carter.

Echoing the brutal urban warfare in the capital Khartoum, 180 kilometres (110 miles) north, fighter jets flew overhead as the sound of explosions echoed across the Wad Madani, according to an AFP correspondent who said the RSF had set up a base in the city’s east.

American ambassador John Godfrey urged the RSF to “cease their advance” on Al Jazirah state, where nearly half a million displaced people had sought refuge, and to “refrain from attacking” state capital Wad Madani.

“A continued RSF advance risks mass civilian casualties and significant disruption of humanitarian assistance efforts,” Godfrey said in a statement on Sunday.

Regional bloc IGAD’s executive secretary Workneh Gebeyehu said he was “extremely concerned by the resurgence of conflict” and called for the cessation of hostilities.

Aid hub

Wad Madani alone houses more than 86,000 displaced people, according to figures from the UN, which has suspended all humanitarian field missions in Al Jazirah state.

More than 270,000 of the city’s 700,000 residents had been dependent on humanitarian aid, the UN said.

The war between army chief Abdel Fattah al Burhan and his former deputy, RSF commander Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, has destroyed the country’s already fragile infrastructure, economy and health care system.

By early December, it had killed at least 12,190 people, according to a conservative estimate by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project.

Over 5.4 million people are internally displaced, while about 1.3 million have fled abroad, according to UN figures.

“A continuous flow of people, many of them who already ran for their lives just a few months ago, are now rushing towards already heavily burdened and resource-depleted cities in neighbouring states,” the NRC’s Carter said.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Benzer Konular

Sosyal Medya da Biz


Güncel Yazılar