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Sudan: 280 killed as fighting rages in West Darfur

The conflict in war-torn Geneina is ethnic in dimension and predates the current conflict between the Sudanese armed forces and the rebel Rapid Support Forces.
People form a convoy as they celebrate in support of the Sudanese armed forces in Khartoum on May 12, 2023.

Violence is continuing in Sudan’s West Darfur, leading to hundreds of deaths and a worsening humanitarian crisis. Efforts to reach a cease-fire, including by Saudi Arabia, have failed to achieve a lasting peace between the military and the rebel Rapid Support Forces (RSF) in the East African country.

The Preliminary Committee of Sudan's Doctors’ Trade Union said that 280 people were killed on Friday and Saturday alone in the city of Geneina in West Darfur, with an additional 180 injured. The fighting occurred between the RSF and “armed groups from citizens in the city.”

“We mourn the martyrs and regret all the loss of life resulting from the conflict throughout Sudan,” the committee said in a Facebook post.

Background: Fighting between the RSF and the Sudanese armed forces began on April 15. The conflict followed tensions between RSF leader Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo (known as Hemedti) and Sudan’s de facto ruler, Lt. Gen. Abdel Fattah Burhan. Sudan has been marred by political instability since the ouster of long-time ruler Omar al-Bashir in 2019. A transitional government subsequently formed, but Burhan then seized power in a 2021 coup. Several cease-fires have failed to bring an end to hostilities.

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