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Conflict in Darfur: How Attacks are Impacting the Fragile Truce

by Joshua Brown
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Fighting between Sudan’s top generals got worse in the province of Darfur, causing many people to die despite there being a 3-day truce. Residents reported this on Thursday.

The fighting in the capital stopped, allowing people from other nations to take out their citizens. Many Sudanese moved to the border areas of Egypt, Chad, Ethiopia and a city on the Red Sea.

Yesterday, in Genena city, there were some fights among the people. The fighters, who wore uniforms of a powerful group called the paramilitary, attacked several different neighborhoods. This made many families scared so they had to leave their homes.

Amany, who didn’t want to give out her last name for safety reasons said, “All over Genena, people are about to run away because of the attacks that is coming from different directions”.

In the past weeks, everyone has been focused on what’s happening in the capital with airstrikes, using cannons and drones by the country’s military and it’s really strong paramilitary organization called Rapid Support Forces (RSF). It all started on April 15th.

                                                              

The war in the capital has made it hard for people to have food, water and electricity. A lot of aid organizations are not working anymore because one-third of the population needs help from them. There might be battles happening in other parts of the country too.

Fighting in Genena has intensified this week, causing widespread destruction including looting and damaging of government buildings, U.N. premises as well as the headquarters of the Sudanese Red Crescent. Adam Haroun who is a political activist from West Darfur reported that numerous people have died due to two days of battling using both light and heavy weapons which eventually led to tribes clashing with each other.

Haroun, who was speaking on the phone from Gamarek (a neighborhood near Genena), reported that fighting groups have been walking around the area destroying and stealing everything they come across. He said that Genena’s main market place was completely ruined. Haroun also added that the battle is still happening and it’s like “total war”. Sounds of gunshots could also be heard while he talked on the phone.

Volker Perthes, the U.N. envoy for Sudan, said that fights have been happening in Genena and they are focusing on civilians. This means fighting between different tribes could become worse if it continues.

Also, people living in Khartoum heard loud noises like shooting and explosions. The military even used warplanes to bomb an RSF camp in Kafouri which is a rich area of town. The RSF admitted their camp was bombed from the air attack.

Many countries are encouraging the people in Sudan to make peace, and the latest suggestion came from South Sudan, which has been an independent country since 2011. On Wednesday, the President of South Sudan, Salva Kiir, asked for a three-day extension of the cease-fire so that civilians can get food and healthcare.

At the president’s office in Juba, the acting Foreign Minister Deng Dau Deng said that President Kiir is talking with military and RSF leaders to try and end the crisis. Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan agreed with the plan while President Kiir is still communicating with Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo from RSF.

The Sudanese military said they agree with the idea from a trade group called Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD). This idea is to extend the truce for 3 more days after it ends on Thursday. Both sides will also meet up in South Sudan’s capital, Juba, for talks.

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