by Aly Jonas

Sudan: UN alarm over intensification of fighting in El Fasher

Soudan : Alarme de l'ONU face à l'intensification des combats à El Fasher

For more than a year, Sudan has been in the grip of a war between the regular army of General Abdel Fattah al-Burhane and the Rapid Support Forces of General Hemmedti.

This confrontation reached a new critical level with the assault of Hemmedti's forces on El Fasher, the main town of Darfur, held until now by the regular army. Exchanges of fire with heavy weapons were reported, plunging the region into an unprecedented spiral of violence.

The United Nations expresses serious concern about this escalation of hostilities. Antonio Guterres, Secretary General of the UN, says he is “very worried” about the situation. Field reports confirm a significant increase in fighting around El Fasher, as Martin Griffiths, Deputy for Humanitarian Affairs, highlighted on social media.

The details of the situation, provided by the UN special envoy to Sudan, Clementine Nkweta-Salami, are most worrying. Heavy weapons fire is reported, with attacks targeting densely populated areas, causing numerous civilian casualties. Hospitals in El Fasher are overwhelmed by the influx of wounded, while those trying to flee find themselves trapped in the clashes.

Clémentine Nkweta-Salami launches an urgent appeal to all parties in the conflict to spare the city, which is home to a population estimated between 800,000 and two million people. In recent months, El Fasher has welcomed a large number of internally displaced people fleeing the violence and ethnic abuses ravaging the Darfur region.

The ethnic composition of the city also raises concerns, with a predominantly non-Arab population among the internally displaced, while Rapid Support Forces militiamen are mainly recruited from Arab tribes. This situation makes many experts and activists of Sudanese civil society fear a new bloodbath, like what took place in El Geneina last year, where between 10,000 and 15,000 Massalit were massacred.

The concern is all the greater as evacuation routes to neighboring countries are blocked by the Rapid Support Forces, raising fears about the potential scale of the offensive on the town of El Fasher. The situation remains critical and uncertain, underscoring the urgency of international intervention to end the fighting and protect civilians trapped in this indiscriminate violence.