Sudan committee says ‘up to 100’ killed in village attack

A Sudanese pro-democracy activists' committee has reported "up to 100" dead in a single day in a village attacked by paramilitary forces.

A Sudanese pro-democracy activists’ committee has reported “up to 100” dead in a single day in a village attacked by paramilitary forces, as the United Nations warned Thursday of mass displacement and starvation.

The Rapid Support Forces (RSF), which have been at war with the regular army since April 2023, on Wednesday attacked the central village of Wad al-Noura in al-Jazira state “in two waves” with heavy artillery, the Madani Resistance Committee said.

The committee said on Wednesday that the feared paramilitaries “invaded the village”, causing widespread displacement and dozens of casualties.

“Up to 100 people were killed,” said the committee, one of hundreds of similar grassroots groups across Sudan, adding that they were “waiting for a confirmed toll of the dead and injured”.

On social media, the committee shared footage of what they said was a “mass grave” in the public square, showing rows of white shrouds laid out in a courtyard.

ALSO READ: UN says ‘gravely concerned’ by fresh fighting in Sudan’s Darfur

In a little over a year, the war has killed tens of thousands of people, including up to 15,000 in a single West Darfur town.

The war’s overall death toll, however, remains unclear, with some estimates of up to 150,000, according to US special envoy for Sudan Tom Perriello.

The RSF has repeatedly besieged and attacked entire villages across the country, and has been notorious for widespread looting as well as sexual and ethnic violence.

In a statement late Wednesday, the RSF said it had attacked three army camps in the Wad al-Noura area, and clashed with its enemy “outside the city”.

Both the army and the RSF have been accused of war crimes, including targeting civilians, indiscriminately shelling residential areas and looting or obstructing humanitarian aid.

ALSO READ: African wars and conflicts ‘far from over’

‘Looming famine’

The UN migration agency warned Thursday that internal displacement figures in Sudan could “top 10 million” within days.

Since the war began, over seven million people have fled their homes for other parts of Sudan, adding to 2.8 million already displaced from previous conflicts in the war-torn country of 48 million inhabitants.

“The world’s worst internal displacement crisis continues to escalate, with looming famine and disease adding to the havoc wrought by conflict,” the International Organization for Migration said in a statement.

Across Sudan, 70 percent of those displaced “are now trying to survive in places that are at risk of famine,” it added.

The UN says 18 million people are acutely hungry, with 3.6 million children acutely malnourished.

ALSO READ: Nearly eight million displaced by Sudan war: UN

Widespread hunger has haunted Sudan for months, while aid agencies say a lack of data has prevented the official declaration of a famine.

If the current humanitarian situation continues, 2.5 million people could die of hunger by the end of September, according to recent estimates by the Clingendael Institute, a Dutch think tank.

That figure is “about 15 percent of the population in Darfur and Kordofan,” the country’s vast western and southern regions which have seen some of the worst fighting, the institute said.

The UN has accused both sides of “systematic obstructions and deliberate denials” of humanitarian access.

– By: © Agence France-Presse

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