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At least 25 killed in North Darfur town, says pro-democracy group

Thursday -18-April-2024 {HMC} Clashes between the Sudanese army and its rival paramilitary have killed at least 25 civilians in the North Darfur town of el-Fasher, a pro-democracy lawyers committee said Tuesday.

The city and its surrounding villages have suffered several days of “arbitrary shelling and airstrikes,” according to the Emergency Lawyers, which have been documenting atrocities committed against civilians since fighting began a year ago between the army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces.

As the war entered its second year, the United Nations and United States have warned that the breakdown of the fragile peace in el-Fasher, the last Darfur state capital not under RSF control, will be catastrophic for hundreds of thousands suffering a humanitarian disaster.

El-Fasher also functions as the main humanitarian hub in the vast western region of Darfur, home to around a quarter of Sudan’s 48 million people and the site of harrowing violence during this and previous conflicts.

Over the past year, Darfur residents and the U.N. have reported displacement centers routinely besieged and attacked by fighters.

The fragile health infrastructure in Darfur has nearly collapsed.

Across the country, 70 percent of health facilities are out of service, according to the U.N.

“Dozens of injured have arrived to the hospital today,” a medical source at el-Fasher Southern Hospital told AFP, requesting anonymity for fear of reprisal from the warring parties, who are known to target medics.

Both sides have been accused of war crimes, including targeting civilians and aid workers, indiscriminate shelling of residential areas and torture.

Since it began last April 15, the war has killed many thousands, including up to 15,000 in a single West Darfur town, according to U.N. experts. It has also forced over 8.5 million people from their homes.

But peace talks are on the horizon.

Saudi Arabia will host talks within the next three weeks, the United States said, calling Tuesday for both sides to “negotiate in good faith toward a cease-fire.”

The discussions, which will be held in Saudi Arabia’s port city of Jeddah, were announced on Monday at a France-backed international conference in Paris that raised more than 2 million euros for Sudan.

SOURCE VOA

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