At least 85 killed in Sudan’s El-Fasher fighting

At least 85 people have died in a single hospital in the Darfur city of El-Fasher since fighting reignited between Sudan’s warring parties on May 10, medical charity Doctors Without Borders said Tuesday.

On Monday alone, nine of 60 casualties received at Southern Hospital, El-Fasher’s only remaining medical facility, had died of their wounds, said Claire Nicolet, head of the charity’s Sudan emergency program.

In the period since the fighting erupted in the North Darfur state capital, the hospital had received “707 casualties” and “85 have passed away”, she added.

For over a year, fighting has raged between the regular military, under army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, led by his former deputy Mohamed Hamdan Daglo.

El-Fasher is the only state capital in the vast western region of Darfur not under RSF control and is a key humanitarian hub for a region on the brink of famine.

This month, it has been the site of fierce battles, despite repeated pleas including from the United Nations for fighters to spare the city.

Eyewitnesses have reported repeated artillery shelling and gunfire from both sides, as well as air strikes from the army.

Trapped in their homes by the fighting, many residents are unable to brave the violence on the streets to get wounded loved ones to the hospital.

Doctors Without Borders said casualties who reach Southern Hospital are met by “only one surgeon, putting the facility “under intense pressure”.

Across the country, the war has shuttered over 70 percent of medical facilities and stretched the remaining ones impossibly thin.

“We have only around 10 days of supplies left” for Southern Hospital, Nicolet said, urging the warring parties to provide “safe access” to enable them to replenish stocks.

Since the war began, tens of thousands of people have been killed, including up to 15,000 in a single West Darfur town, according to UN experts.

Nearly nine million people have been forced from their homes. By the end of April, North Darfur alone hosted more than half a million people newly displaced in the last year, according to the latest figures from the UN.

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