from RAJI BASHIR in Khartoum, Sudan
KHARTOUM, (CAJ News) – MORE than 280 people were reportedly killed this past weekend in Geneina town in the West Darfur region of the conflict-torn Sudan.
This coincides with a month into the escalation of fighting in Sudan, and just a few days since the warring parties signed the Jeddah Agreement.
“The appalling levels of violence unfolding in West Darfur are nothing short of inhumane,” said William Carter, Norwegian Refugee Council’s country director for Sudan.
“Scarcely had the two warring parties signed the Jeddah Agreement on Thursday night when chaos erupted once again in Geneina,” he added.
“One of our staff members was injured, and each day brings news of people burying their loved ones who fell victim to the senseless fighting.”
Within Geneina, an estimated 100 000 internally displaced people remain at the mercy of the relentless violence by rival militant groups, with settlements once again being reduced to ashes.
Trapped civilians have endured three days of incessant shelling, devastating their homes.
This recent escalation of violence follows a major bout of fighting in April, during which nearly 200 lives were lost.
Residents of Geneina have been stranded within the city, unable to escape, cut off from vital healthcare and basic necessities. Additionally, electricity and network blackouts have severely hampered communication, exacerbating the circumstances.
Across Sudan, the conflict has displaced nearly 1 million people since April 15, with approximately 200 000 seeking refuge in neighbouring countries.
NRC is still unable to deliver emergency aid in the capital Khartoum and Geneina, where the fighting has displaced most of its colleagues.
The shutdown of the banking system and the lack of visa issuance into the country further hinder large-scale humanitarian relief efforts.
Carter lamented that the conflict in Sudan shows no signs of abating.
“It is imperative that the international community redouble their efforts to hold the warring parties accountable for the protection of civilians,” he said.
– CAJ News