Thu. Jul 18th, 2024

An official in the North Darfur state government announced that the only operating southern hospital in the city of El Fasher (the capital of North Darfur, western Sudan) was completely out of service after the Rapid Support Forces attacked it on Saturday evening.

The Sudanese army and its allies in the joint force were able to confront the attack, which resulted in a number of deaths and injuries among civilians.

According to statements by the Director General of the Ministry of Health in North Darfur State, Ibrahim Abdullah Khater – which were published on social media – the Southern Hospital stopped working, and its patients were evacuated to other health facilities.

Khater said that he was an eyewitness to the events, along with the General Director of the hospital, Dr. Ezz El-Din Ahmed Aso, and that they were able to leave the hospital before they were attacked by members of the Rapid Support Forces, where Dr. Ahmed Aso was beaten, and all his original documents were confiscated.

Ahmed Aso’s health condition was described as stable, and he was transferred to a safe place, while the medical director of the accident department suffered a broken leg, according to Khater.

According to the same source, the hospital is now under the control of the army, and they are ready to return to work as soon as possible when security conditions permit. Regarding the size of the losses, he said that they were not able to fully estimate them, but 60% of salaries were stolen, medicines were looted, and the ministry’s vehicles were vandalized.

The city of El Fasher is one of the oldest cities in Darfur historically, and its population is about 2 million people out of a total population of about 6 million people, according to official statistics issued in 2006 (no new statistics are available).

El Fasher includes 5 main hospitals: the teaching hospital, the specialized obstetrics and gynecology hospital, the military hospital, the police hospital, and El Fasher Southern Hospital.

The Rapid Support Forces bombed with artillery some neighborhoods in the city of El Fasher, as they seek to extend their control over the Darfur region, which links Sudan to neighboring countries.

A Sudanese army plane was seen flying over the city on Saturday night and Sunday morning, and an airdrop was carried out last Wednesday to support the 6th Infantry Division in the city.

For several months, the city of El Fasher has witnessed an escalation in military operations in light of the almost complete absence of humanitarian and relief organizations in the region.

Eyewitnesses said that the ongoing battles between the army forces and its allies in the Joint Force on the one hand, and the Rapid Support Forces on the other hand, forced thousands of civilians to flee in recent weeks, and many homes and infrastructure were destroyed as a result of bombing and clashes.

Citizens in the city warned of deteriorating humanitarian conditions. They stressed that they are in urgent need of food and medical aid, especially the displaced people who fled the fighting areas to the city.

They called on international organizations to intervene urgently to provide humanitarian aid to those affected, and to protect civilians from the scourge of war. They urged the warring parties to cease fire and enter into dialogue to end the conflict.

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