Student Engineer Electrocuted while Fixing Power at a Darfur Clinic

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Muhammedin Fadul Idris Wadi, a 27-year-old electrical engineering student, has died trying to fix the power at a hospital affected by fighting in Sudan’s Darfur region.

Wadi, who was part of a group of volunteers trying to keep Sayed al-Shahada Health Centre in Fasher city running, was electrocuted on Thursday while attending to an electric problem. The facility had been damaged and looted, and its staff had subsequently abandoned it.

They had been raising money to refurbish the clinic and purchase food, medicine and other medical supplies. The health centre had finally opened last Monday with the help of 25 volunteer medics and 80 community volunteers. The clinic started operating again last Monday, but it was still facing difficulties.

Wadi’s friend, Ahmed Ishaq, who studied with him at the University of Fasher, said that Wadi was “known for his smile, even in the time of war” and “admired for his tireless work and selfless community initiatives.”

Ishaq also mentioned that Wadi kept them “buoyant psychologically in difficult times with his kind words – and he worked like a bee.” Wadi’s group had been working to assist vulnerable neighborhoods in the south of the city, including Abu Shanbat and Zam Zam camps.

These communities fled their villages in the ethnic violence that ravaged Darfur 20 years ago.

Since the conflict broke out in Sudan, hundreds of civilians have died, and hundreds of thousands have fled their homes.

The army and the paramilitary group, the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), are continuing to fight for control of key areas of the capital, Khartoum. Around seven million people are trapped in their homes in Khartoum, unable to get basic supplies, including food.

The UN’s top humanitarian official, Martin Griffiths, has arrived in the city of Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, where envoys sent by the army and RSF are meant to be meeting – though it is not clear if discussions have begun.