Hospital In Sudan’s Al-Fashir Shut After Attack By Rebels, Says NGO

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A non-governmental organization Doctors Without Borders (MSF) on Sunday said the main hospital in Sudan’s al-Fashir city has been attacked and put out of service.

The local volunteers in the city, however, blamed the incident on the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF).

The al-Fashir city, in the Darfur region of northwestern Sudan, is home to more than 1.8 million residents and displaced people, and is the latest front in a war between the Sudanese army and the RSF which began in April 2023.

The RSF, which has taken over the capital Khartoum and most of western Sudan, is also seeking to advance further within the centre, as United Nations agencies said the people of Sudan are at “imminent risk of famine”.

The United Nations said some 130,000 people have fled their homes in al-Fashir as a result of the fighting in April and May.

However, the RSF did not respond to a request for comment.

MSF did not say who had attacked the only hospital in al-Fashir that is capable of handling what it describes as daily mass casualty events.

From May 10 to June 6, some 1,315 wounded arrived at the facility and 208 people have died there, but many people are not able to reach the hospital due to the fighting, MSF said.

Michel-Olivier Lacharite, head of MSF emergency operations, told Reuters that the hospital had previously started evacuating patients after being impacted by fighting three times since May 25.

The al-Fashir Emergency Response Room, a volunteer group, said on Sunday that RSF fighters raided the hospital on Saturday, killing and injuring several people looting medicine and an ambulance and forcing the hospital to shut.

An eyewitness told Reuters he saw people evacuating the hospital, and other eyewitnesses said the RSF had launched missiles at the hospital and its vicinity.

A separate attack on Saturday on the Abu Shouk camp to the north of the city impacted another medical centre, injured more than 30, and killed at least two, the camp committee and a volunteer said.

A report last week from The Yale Humanitarian Research Lab said some 40 settlements outside the city have been struck with arson attacks since March.

Local residents have blamed the RSF for the attacks. Leaving the city has proven dangerous, as residents say those fleeing have been attacked and even killed on the main RSF-controlled road out of the city.