Conflicts & War

Red Cross says attack on its convoy in Sudan left two dead, seven wounded

Khartoum, Dec. 10 (EFE) – The International Committee of the Red Cross said Sunday that two people were killed and seven wounded in an attack on its humanitarian convoy in Khartoum.

In a statement, the ICRC said it was “shocked and appalled” by the “deliberate attack” on its convoy, which consisted of three vehicles and three buses, “all clearly marked with the Red Cross emblem.”

“I am shocked by the total disrespect for the Red Cross emblem, which must be respected and protected in accordance with international humanitarian law,” Pierre Dorbes, head of the ICRC delegation in Sudan, said in the statement.

Under the Geneva Conventions, the Red Cross, Red Crescent and Red Crystal emblems are used to identify and protect medical services, which under no circumstances should be targeted by warring parties.

The convoy was attacked as it entered the Al-Shajara neighborhood of Khartoum, the scene of clashes between the army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, from which more than 100 civilians were to be evacuated.

“The humanitarian operation had been requested by and coordinated with the parties to the conflict, who gave their agreement and provided the necessary security guarantees,” said the ICRC.

It also recalled that it is a “neutral and impartial humanitarian” organization playing its role as a mediator between the warring parties.

The Sudanese army earlier said it attacked the convoy because the Red Cross was not following the agreed evacuation route and was being escorted by an armed FAR vehicle, which the paramilitaries denied.

According to the RAF, the Red Cross convoy “moved on its own” and when it entered the Khartoum area controlled by the army, it was “fiercely attacked” with gunfire that lasted for a quarter of an hour, provoking the FAR to respond in defense of the members of the international organization.

The Sudanese army and the FAR have been waging a bloody war for control of the country since April 15, resulting in more than 12,000 deaths, more than 6 million refugees and displaced persons, and a humanitarian catastrophe in Sudan. EFE

az-cgs/ics

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