Sudan war worsens Darfur city on Chad border.


Last month’s war in Sudan’s capital quickly spread to western Darfur, igniting an old conflict and sending refugees into Chad.

Last week, Nasr Abdullahi sent his wife, sister, and five children to Chad while he awaited news of his 17-year-old son in Khartoum. He fled when his neighbor’s house burned down and gangs took over the streets.

“I couldn’t take it anymore, so I decided to leave on foot,” the 42-year-old said after arriving exhausted on Wednesday in Adre, Chad, 27km (17 miles) from El Geneina, West Darfur State’s capital.

“I crossed through the bush and walked west all night.”

Residents blame the power struggle between Sudan’s army and paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) in Khartoum for militias’ unchecked violence in El Geneina and other Darfur areas.

The RSF was founded by “Janjaweed” militias, armed men from Arab nomadic tribes who ride trucks, motorcycles, and horses. They have been attacking El Geneina since late April. The RSF blames the army for Darfur violence.

Witnesses say the attacks in El Geneina destroyed its markets, power grid, and medical facilities, bringing back memories of the early 2000s violence.

Sudan’s health ministry estimates 510 deaths in the city of half a million. West Darfur has 250,000 internally displaced people and 90,000 in Chad.

Abdullahi’s account of the chaos was rare with El Geneina’s communications cut off.

Heavy weapons and machine guns are firing everywhere. “When you go out in the morning, you see new bullet holes in the walls,” he said, adding that water was cut and food was scarce in the city he left.


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