RSF Attack on Wad Madani, Sudan: Catastrophic Damage and Displacement

The RSF attack on Wad Madani, Sudan has caused catastrophic damage, displacing over 500,000 citizens and resulting in more than 25 fatalities. Learn more about the assault and its impact on vital i...


5/6/20244 min read


Al-Gezira State and its capital, Madani (186 kilometres from Khartoum), are considered one of the most important cities in Sudan. It contains a large proportion of Khartoum’s displaced population. According to official statistics, the number of those who entered the state from 15th of April to 20th of December are estimated at about 7 million people. The state’s government also provided its official statement to the Observatory of people who fled the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, that the number ranges from 6.5million people to 7 million.

Madani is considered the first city in terms of the number of patients receiving and visiting health centres throughout the state of Al-Jazira. The number of patients received by the state is about 350 thousand patients who receive health care in medical facilities in all centres of the state, which amount to about 900 health institutions distributed among 7 localities in the state. Most of them are concentrated in the “Greater Madani” locality. The number of dialysis centres is about 19 centres distributed throughout the state. The state, with its capital, Wad Madani, also contains the most important cancer centres, covering 60% of cancer patients in Sudan, especially children. The centre also provides its services to some citizens of neighbouring countries who were greatly affected by the cessation of this centre.

Localities and administrative units

Economic importance:

Al-Gezira State, with its project that meets food requirements of about 2 million people, is considered the most important agricultural state in Sudan. Al- Gezira Agricultural Project is one of the most important projects in which about 300,000 acres are used to grow wheat. In addition, the state contains most of the commercial businesses that came after the war. From Khartoum, where the volume of new stores reached about 3 thousand new stores, in addition to an attempt to operate about 190 factories. Furthermore, the sate is on the road through which commercial goods and humanitarian aid pass to the Western states of Sudan. The state is also considered one of the most important states producing sugar, as it contains the first sugar factory in Sudan, “Al-Junaid Sugar Factory,” which provides job opportunities for thousands of farmers and workers and cultivates about 15 thousand acres of sugar cane. The factory was stopped and its assets were looted after the invasion of Al-Gezira State.

Attack on Wad Madani:

Despite the appeal launched by the observatory directly to the Rapid Support Forces leadership, leadership did not care about all the humanitarian demands that were also presented by various parties, taking inhumane excuses for the incursion and storming of the city, which resulted in the escape of more than 500 thousand citizens and more than 25 people died as a result of the harsh displacement conditions, as a large number of citizens walked on foot to the southeast parts of the state some even continued to reach Sennar State. Some were also subjected to looting during their journey to safety.

All neighbourhoods in the city were looted, in addition to banks, commercial establishments and the city's dry port. There were also 50 cases of attacks monitored on the day of the raid by the Rapid Support Forces against civilians during the raid. This resulted in direct murders that exceeded 30 killings against citizens on 18th December 2023. More than 4 doctors disappeared on the same day from various neighbourhoods in the city. In addition, more than 167 thousand pregnant women were exposed to the risks of displacement.

Attack on localities:

More than 400 villages in the Jazira localities were invaded by the Rapid Support Forces, with most of the attacks focused on civilians in the southern Jazira localities, in addition to Al-Hasahisa locality, which was subjected to looting of properties and factories located in the locality. More than 20,000 cars were looted from these localities until December 27. In addition, looting of grain and seed stores, made the Al-Gezira project stop completely. A number of cities were also subjected to systematic killings by the Rapid Support Forces, as more than one killing case were recorded daily against citizens in the city of Arbaji. More than 30 people in various villages have been killed by the Rapid Support Forces since the attack on the state.

Institutions that were completely looted by the occupation:

The Sudanese company reported that the Al-Junaid and Sennar sugar factory was completely robbed and damaged by the Rapid Support Forces. It stated that the militia looted all heavy machinery, tractors and trucks, estimated at 450, and looted all small and large vehicles, which exceed 300 vehicles, and looted fuel depots and stores of oils, grease, chemicals and packing materials. A source in AL Gezira Project Administration also reported that all the inputs to AL Gezira Agricultural Project were stolen and looted by the Rapid Support Militia after they entered the project management headquarters in the Barakat area, south of AL Gezira. He stated that a number of cars and machinery belonging to agricultural units in the Marangan area of Al-Gezira State were stolen, and that warehouses containing large quantities of agricultural crops such as corn and wheat were emptied by thieves and armed groups affiliated with the Rapid Support Forces. The source stated that the currently cultivated area in the AL Gezira Agricultural Project amounted to five hundred thousand acres, of which two hundred thousand acres were planted with wheat, in addition to a number of other winter crops. He pointed out that a large number of project workers, including engineers, workers, and farmers, cannot work safely as long as armed men are inside the fields and administrative offices of the project.