UN warns of worsening catastrophe as violence intensifies in Darfur

UN warns of worsening catastrophe as violence intensifies in Darfur

Martin Griffiths, the Under-Secretary-General for UNOCHA [Photo: Courtesy]

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) warned that Sudan’s crisis could worsen due to the attacks carried out by the RSF in Darfur.

In a statement seen by The City Review on Tuesday, Martin Griffiths, the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, stressed the urgency of taking swift action to stop more killing in El-Fasher.

He emphasised that although the UNOCHA had constantly shared measures for safeguarding civilians with all sides engaged in the fighting, nothing had changed.

“The UN now expects them to do what the world and international humanitarian law expect,” Griffiths stated.

Griffiths stated that there is a threat to healthcare facilities, pointing out that Southern Hospital in the city is extremely lacking medical supplies.

According to the UNOCHA, over 800,000 residents in El Fasher who are trapped in the crossfire are in dangerous conditions.

Griffiths’ statement came amid reports of rising bloodshed in El Fasher, which have many worried about a wider humanitarian crisis.On May 9, 2024, paramilitary RSF was accused of ‘ethnic cleansing’ in West Darfur, according to the Human Rights Watch (HRW).

The Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported that RSF attacks on the Masalit tribe and other non-Arab groups between April and November 2023 were some of the worst atrocities in the ongoing civil war.

The RSF and their allied Arab militias’ attacks in el-Geneina and El-Fasher, the capital of West Darfur, saw entire neighbourhoods housing primarily displaced Masalit communities looted, burned, shelled and razed to the ground.

The war that erupted on April 15, 2023, between the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and Sudanese army, killed more than 14,000 people, tens of thousands wounded and resulted in a looming famine, with 25 million people in need of life-saving assistance, and over 8.6 million forced to flee their homes, according to the United Nations.