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Death toll in Sudan’s El Fasher reaches 134 amid deadly fighting, MSF says

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At least 134 people have been killed in El Fasher, the capital of Sudan’s North Darfur state, since May 10 due to intense fighting, according to a statement from Doctors Without Borders (MSF) on Sunday.

MSF reported that one of its colleagues, a watchman at the organization’s pharmacy, was killed when shelling hit his house near the city’s main market while he was off duty. “We urge the warring parties to do more to protect civilians, who—like our valued colleague—are among those losing their lives,” the group stated.

Many MSF staff members have lost family members or homes during the shelling. Since the fighting began more than two weeks ago, the group said it has treated 979 people.

The violence in North Darfur has intensified as the paramilitary group Rapid Support Forces (RSF) encircle El Fasher. The fighting also affects thousands of displaced people who have fled to El Fasher from the other four Darfur states now controlled by the RSF.

According to UNICEF, at least 500,000 people sheltering in the city have been displaced by violence elsewhere in Sudan. Food, medicine, and other vital supplies are scarce, and food assistance deliveries in Darfur are limited. The World Food Program reports that 1.7 million people in the region are experiencing emergency levels of hunger.

A report from the Yale School of Public Health’s Humanitarian Research Lab on May 15 confirmed “significant conflict-related damage in the eastern and southeastern neighborhoods of El Fasher city between 10 – 14 May.” The report is consistent with accounts that the RSF and Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) “have engaged in expanded and repeated ground fighting and bombardment in” the city, the Yale report added.

Civil war in Sudan between the SAF and RSF broke out in April 2023. According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, since the war’s outbreak more than 8.8 million people have fled their homes and 24.8 million people are in need of assistance.

Last week at the UN Security Council, the United Nations Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide Alice Wairimu Nderitu warned, “The situation today bears all the marks of risk of genocide, with strong allegations that this crime has already been committed.”

“The risk of genocide exists in Sudan.  It is real and it is growing every single day,” she went on to say.

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