Last Remaining Civilian Hospital Closes in Besieged Sudanese City

Last Remaining Civilian Hospital Closes in Besieged Sudanese City
Mohieldin Mokhtar It is not clear how many people died in the attack

El-Fasher is a besieged city in Sudan, and doctors at one of the few clinics there have closed it down because of a brutal attack. Even though the country’s deadly civil war broke out fourteen months ago, this is happening at the same time. Out of all the cities in the Darfur region, El-Fasher is the only one that the army still controls.

A vital hub for treating wounded civilians, the hospital received funding from the medical charity Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). Several days later, word got out that shells had hit the city’s South Hospital, killing and injuring patients. Paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) raided the institution on Saturday, attacking personnel and stealing an ambulance, among other things. Eyewitnesses described a chaotic scene as they opened fire, looted pharmaceuticals and medical equipment, and caused an incident.

It is difficult to determine casualties owing to the accompanying pandemic, according to Maximilien Kowalski, MSF’s interim head of mission in Sudan. In light of growing security concerns, he said that medical staff had been considering moving the hospital. A small medical team and ten patients were there during the attack, which was a blessing in disguise.

“The hospital is perilously close to the frontline, necessitating its closure for now,” said Kowalski. Additionally, he brought attention to the terrible circumstances at the adjacent crumbling Saudi Hospital, which is where MSF wants to relocate their operations. At least one week will pass before wounded people can get medical treatment at this new site due to a lack of fuel, power, and water.

The brutality of the civil war in Sudan is on full display in this assault. Defending the attack, Michel Lacharite said, “Opening fire inside a hospital crosses a line.” He condemned the incident as “outrageous” and stressed that innocent people should not be hurt while fighting for their freedom.

After more than a year of fighting, the Sudanese National Army is now facing allegations of extensive violations. Here, the RSF shut down a civilian hospital that had been treating patients. As the primary referral center for treating war-wounded patients, the hospital’s suspension of operations is a major blow to the population of el-Fasher. According to MSF, more than 1,300 injured individuals have sought care there in the last 30 days.

Despite widespread reports that the RSF receives funding from the UAE, the group has denied the claims. The conflict has surpassed all others in terms of casualties and displacement, with an estimated 15,000 killed and nearly nine million displaced across the country since it began in April 2023.

South of Khartoum, in the state of Gezira, the RSF took power in December and has since denied allegations of human rights violations. In the village of Wad al-Nourah in Gezira state, at least 150 people, including 35 children, were slaughtered not long ago by what are believed to be RSF fighters.

In Darfur, human rights organizations claim that the RSF is committing ethnic cleansing by raping non-Arabs, including darker-skinned Masalits. The war has persisted despite multiple rounds of peace talks; it is based on a feud between the two armies and RSF generals.

According to UN agencies, the violence has caused the greatest influx of displaced people in history, putting millions of people at risk of starvation. With the el-Fasher hospital shut down, Sudan is in the midst of a severe humanitarian crisis, and the terrible civil conflict must end immediately.


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