Violence spirals in Darfur despite 72-hour ceasefire extension

Violence spirals in Darfur despite 72-hour ceasefire extension
Eyewitnesses reports of atrocities in al-Geneina are beginning to pour out of Darfur as violence spreads from Khartoum across the country.
5 min read

Countries around the world have continued to pull their citizens out of Sudan as airstrikes have continued to pummel Khartoum and deadly fighting has spread as far as Darfur. 

At least 74 people were killed in two days of fighting that broke out this week in al-Geneina, the capital of Sudan's West Darfur state, the country's doctors' union said today.

The real figure is likely to be far higher. 

In the final hours of a repeatedly broken three-day ceasefire, due to end at midnight on Thursday, the army and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) announced a 72-hour extension following pressure from Saudi Arabia and the United States.

The ceasefire has already been broken - including by gunfire which struck a Turkish evacuation plane - and signs of meaningful diplomacy between the two sides are nowhere to be seen. 

At least 512 people have been killed and 4,193 wounded in the fighting, according to health ministry figures, although the real death toll is likely much higher.

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3:59 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Cash sources dry up 

In Sudan's battle-hit capital, residents desperately counting their last banknotes as nearly two weeks of fighting has frozen cash sources and pushed an already faltering financial system to the brink.

Banks have been closed since battles broke out on April 15. Khartoum's five million residents,  already running low on food and basic supplies, are now almost out of cash as well.

"Even if you have money in the bank, it means nothing," researcher Hamid Khalafallah told reporters. "Your money is trapped in the bank."

3:44 PM
The New Arab Staff

What's the difference? 

Comments by the UK home secretary have been drawing ire on social media after Suella Braverman shot down the suggestion of safe and legal routes for Sudanese citizens seeking safety on British soil.

"The situation is very different from Ukraine, so I wouldn't want to draw comparisons," said Braverman after she was pressed on why the UK government was not offering similar emergency procedures for Sudanese citizens as they did when Russia invaded Ukraine. 

3:04 PM
The New Arab Staff

Looting in al-Geneina 

Further evidence of carnage in Darfur's capital is coming to light as footage of destruction in the main market of al-Geneina has been shared widely on social media: 


1:55 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

UN raises alarm over prison breaks 

The United Nations has raised alarms at the prison breaks on Friday amid the violence raging in Sudan that have seen Sudanese war crimes suspects escape, and deepening impunity.

The UN also warned that the conflict was reigniting ethnic clashes in the western Darfur region which had left nearly 100 dead in a matter of days.

"We're very, very deeply alarmed by the prison breaks," UN rights office spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani told reporters in Geneva.

"We're very worried about the prospect of further violence, amid a generalised climate of impunity," she said.

Her comments follow several jailbreaks, including of a high-security prison holding suspected war criminals, since violence erupted across Sudan two weeks ago.

12:34 PM
The New Arab Staff

Healthcare system in collapse

Fresh analysis has cited that as much as 60% of Sudan's medical facilities could be closed - at a time when the country needs them most. 

"Of the still operational general hospitals in Khartoum and other conflict-affected states, some are only offering first aid service, and some are at risk of closure because of a lack of personnel, medical supplies, and power, water, and fuel for generators," according to the Sudan Doctors Syndicate. 

Read the full ACAPS report here: 

11:25 AM
The New Arab Staff

What's happening?

Here's a recap from the New Arab on why fighting has broken out in Sudan:

11:20 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Truce already broken

The United States and Saudi Arabia, as well as the African Union, the United Nations, and others, have welcomed the rival generals' "readiness to engage in dialogue" in a bid to create a "more durable cessation of hostilities and ensuring unimpeded humanitarian access". 

Yet multiple reports already show the new 72-hour ceasefire has already been broken. 

The Darfur Bar Association, a civil society group, said fighters were "launching rockets at houses" in El Geneina, state capital of West Darfur, as well reporting firing from "rifles, machine guns and anti-aircraft weapons".

Fighting has spread "nearly all over the city" and fighters have "looted camps for the displaced and the university hospital" as well as setting fire to "markets, public buildings, aid warehouses and banks", the Bar Association added.

For Sudanese civilians, evidence of  the leading generals' "readiness to engage" is difficult to see. 

11:09 AM
The New Arab Staff

Bloodshed in Darfur

Eyewitnesses on social media have reported shocking scenes in Sudan's southwestern province of Darfur, where both Hemedti and Burhan forged their careers in the country's bloody civil war.