Conflicts & War

Darfur health system collapses, shelling continues despite truce

Khartoum, May 2 (EFE).- The health system in the state of West Darfur has collapsed due to ethnic fighting that left dozens dead and hundreds injured, while bombardments continued in Khartoum despite another truce between the army and a rival paramilitary group.

The Sudanese Doctors Union said Tuesday in El Geneina, capital of West Darfur, that 94 people had died and hundreds had been injured due to combat linked to the conflict between the armed forces and the Rapid Support Forces.

It said health facilities were attacked and looted, as well as camps for displaced people, adding that almost all hospitals and clinics were out of service.

This situation “forced the humanitarian organizations to carry out an emergency evacuation of their teams to Chad,” except for a part of the Red Crescent team that helps to evacuate bodies after the recent clashes, it added.

Sudan’s army, in conflict with paramilitaries since Apr. 15, said the situation in West Darfur is “complicated” as “tribal conflicts” have broken out, while several NGOs and United Nations agencies have denounced the looting and destruction of its facilities in the region.

West Darfur, the scene of an ethnic conflict between 2003 and 2008 that claimed the lives of 300,000 people, is one of the FAR’s strongholds, since many of its fighters are from that area.

In Khartoum, where warnings about the deterioration of the humanitarian and health situation are also multiplying, shelling continued Tuesday on the second day of yet a new truce – the third consecutive one of 72 so far – which began at 22:00 GMT on Sunday.

According to witnesses and local media, sounds of shelling and artillery attacks have been heard since early morning in the region of the airport, north of Khartoum, as well as in the south of the city of Um Dorman, a neighbor of the capital, although no has reported casualties.

Both the army and paramilitaries continue to accuse each other of attacking residential regions and health facilities or of taking advantage of consecutive truces, brokered by the United States and Saudi Arabia, to reinforce their positions in Khartoum.

Despite not being respected by the warring parties, these truces have allowed the evacuation of thousands of foreigners and the displacement of tens of thousands of people to safer areas or to neighboring countries, mainly Chad, South Sudan and Egypt. EFE


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