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Sudan Civil War Forces Closure of Last Civilian Hospital in El-Fasher

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Ayize claire

Jun 10, 2024

Attack Forces Last Civilian Hospital in El-Fasher to Close Amid Sudan Civil War

The last functioning civilian hospital in the besieged Sudanese city of el-Fasher has been forced to close after an attack. The hospital, supported by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), was the only facility left in el-Fasher where injured civilians could receive treatment. El-Fasher is the only city still under army control in the entire Darfur region.

The closure followed days of shelling and a chaotic assault by the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), who looted drugs and medical equipment, stole an ambulance, and assaulted staff. Due to the chaos, MSF was unable to verify if there were any casualties. Medics had already been planning to relocate the hospital due to security concerns. During the attack, only ten patients and a reduced medical team were present.

The hospital’s proximity to the frontline necessitates its closure for now. The nearby Saudi Hospital, where MSF plans to move operations, lacks fuel, electricity, and water, leaving injured civilians without medical care for at least a week. MSF’s Head of Emergencies, Michel Lacharite, condemned the attack as “outrageous,” stressing that warring parties must spare medical facilities.

The Sudanese national army and the RSF have both been accused of widespread abuses during the civil war, which began 14 months ago. The closure of the hospital is a significant setback for el-Fasher residents, as it was the main facility equipped to handle mass casualties and provide surgical care. Over 1,300 injured people sought treatment there in the past month alone.

The conflict, which started in April 2023, has resulted in more than 15,000 deaths and displaced nearly nine million people, creating the world’s largest displacement crisis. The RSF, reportedly backed by the United Arab Emirates, has been accused of numerous abuses, including a massacre of 150 people in Gezira state and a campaign of ethnic cleansing in Darfur.

Peace talks have repeatedly failed, and the UN warns of a looming hunger catastrophe affecting millions.

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