November - December Report about situation in Sudan


Editors : Hassan Alnasir / Malaz Warag Translate:Typian Alnour

12/23/20232 min read

During November, the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) took control of the Daein Garrison, and several battles erupted in Abu Karinka. Then, the RSF launched attacks on military areas within Khartoum and Omdurman, in addition to besieging some residential areas in Khartoum State. Furthermore, there were attacks on villages in northern Kordofan, with the theft of crops, and the situation worsened in the city of Fula, which was attacked in the past months, resulting in the destruction of the market and commercial and governmental establishments. Babanusa in South Kordofan State also suffered significant damage due to the attack, as well as the town of Muglad, where the 90th Brigade was taken over. The situation of displaced persons in the Chadian border areas and Abshiyah remains extremely dire, with thousands suffering from malnutrition. Additionally, the conditions of displaced persons in various schools in the affected states are challenging. Not only that, but diseases that arise during the fall and winter seasons have spread in some areas.

The report is composed of three fundamental Aspects. The first level is directly linked to the prevailing conditions of the citizens and the impact of the expansion and escalation of military operations, as well as the activities of militias and allied armed groups, in addition to their impact on the socio-economic conditions of the affected population. The second level addresses the living conditions of citizens in displacement areas and states that have been indirectly affected by the war. Furthermore, we have monitored the situations of Sudanese nationals abroad and the challenges they face. In this report, we have comprehensively incorporated all the information obtained from our field sources, alongside international reports, national institutions, and organizations working in the field of monitoring and human rights.

Citizens' Security Situation: Violations in Sudan continue to escalate sharply, with a complete absence of monitoring by human rights entities and responsible authorities in the state. In November, we witnessed an expansion of hostile acts towards citizens by militias in four states, as a result of their ongoing aggression against the population and public properties. Furthermore, violations persist in Khartoum, and with the intensification of fighting, we have begun to observe increasing lawlessness among armed factions, particularly in the controlled areas, especially in the state of Khartoum. At the Sudanese Human Rights Monitoring, we closely monitor the field situation, and we have observed the direct impact resulting from the expansion of military operations and attacks carried out by the Rapid Support Forces militia and its affiliated militias, which have started to evolve. Areas in Khartoum and North Kordofan continue to experience concerning conditions, particularly regarding the plight of women. Furthermore, vital and service-oriented areas, such as power stations, hospitals, and petroleum facilities, have also been targeted. The militias persist in imposing a siege on certain neighborhoods, especially in Omdurman, where Rapid Support Forces and their affiliated militias have established a wide security cordon around areas like Bant and Abu Kadouk, as well as Fatahab and adjacent neighborhoods, using some of them as firing positions, aiming at military units in the Engineers' area. Additionally, the militias have imposed a blockade on neighborhoods such as Shajarat Al Hamadab, Yathrib in South Khartoum, and Dar Es Salam in Jebel Awlia, which they have occupied for three weeks following the withdrawal of stationed army units.

Another wave of violence and killings has been observed in South Darfur: The attacks carried out by the Rapid Support Forces on the Ardamata Dara unit in November constituted some of the most brutal attacks targeting the citizens in West Darfur State. Under the command of the second-in-command of the Rapid Support Forces, Abdel Rahim Daglo, the forces, along with affiliated militias, launched relentless assaults on the Ardamata Dara unit on the fourth of November, aiming to gain control over it. Their objective was achieved, as the army division stationed in Geneina fell, leading to the subsequent violation of the Ardamata Dara unit on the same day. The widespread disruption of communication networks and their weakened state facilitated a global blackout on the crimes and violations committed. According to some news and human rights sources, the number of casualties has reached 800 civilians, but some reports in early December indicated that it has risen to 1500 civilians. However, we, as observers, believe that the actual death toll is likely higher than this. The circulated videos depicting torture and mass detention of Sudanese citizens, along with direct communication with relatives outside the state, indicate the difficulty of fully documenting the situation. The citizens are unable to capture images or communicate except after reaching the Chadian borders. Furthermore, a group of neighborhoods in the vicinity of the Ardamata area, especially those in the eastern regions near Wadi Kaja, were attacked. The extent of destruction and chaos in the city also affected educational institutions such as Geneina University, indicating a different reality in the city, which witnessed the second wave of killings and displacement. It is evident that the Rapid Support Forces and the affiliated militias have adopted a policy of collective punishment against the citizens residing in areas surrounding the military divisions of the army. We have observed that they have subjected the residents of the city of El-Elifun, as well as the neighborhoods surrounding the 16th Infantry Division and the residents of Dar Es Salam in the Jebel Awlia region, to persecution. The militias have killed, and abducted civilians in these areas, following the same pattern of crimes that occurred in Um Ruwaba during the past month, where the militias punished the residents for their support to the army and demonstrated solidarity with them. They subjected the residents to torture, siege, and food deprivation, as reported by the affected citizens.

Attack on Um Kadada and Systematic Destruction of Life: On November 8th, the Rapid Support Forces launched an attack on the strategic area of Um Kadada, located in North Darfur State. Um Kadada is considered a strategic area for the city of El Fasher as it houses a water dam that supplies the city with essential water resources, which has caused the residents to suffer from severe thirst. The number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) significantly increased in October following the attacks on Nyala, to which the citizens sought refuge due to the joint forces' assault on Darfur movements.

The number of IDPs in El Fasher has reached approximately 100,000. According to the Humanitarian Aid Commission, the number stood at 92,000 in early November but has since risen to 100,000 IDPs within the city. The number of families has reached 17,581 households. It is anticipated that the number of IDPs will further increase due to food shortages and the halt of transportation between El Fasher and El Beida, relying solely on the Chadian borders for humanitarian aid delivery. The displaced individuals are overcrowded in makeshift schools, estimated to be around 25 schools, while facing the spread of diseases and a lack of food and medical supplies due to the ongoing military confrontations.

Zalengei and the Siege of Civilians in Al-Hissaheisa Camp: On October 31st, the Rapid Support Forces and their affiliated militias declared their control over the 21st Division in Zalengei. Despite claiming complete control over the camp in August 2023, our monitoring has revealed that they have besieged the Zalengei and Al-Hissaheisa Camp for two consecutive months. The Rapid Support Forces have effectively trapped approximately 15,000 individuals, and the siege is ongoing, with any military intervention resulting in further casualties. Around 1,300 people have been displaced from the camp after the Rapid Support Forces advanced towards the camp's southern borders. Halil Abdelatif, a resident of the camp, stated that the Rapid Support Forces shifted their focus to the army barracks they previously entered, but this time they targeted the camp itself. The camp has been under siege for months, preventing the entry of food and essential supplies. Moreover, some farmers have been unable to access their fields for an extended period, creating a food shortage that poses a threat to both the camp and the city. According to international sources, food prices have steadily risen from October until the end of November. The prices are as follows: a pound of sugar reached 1,700 pounds, a bottle of oil 3,700 pounds, laundry soap 700 pounds, a kilogram of meat 5,000 pounds, and a loaf of bread 200 pounds. Additionally, a piece of onion reached 3,000 pounds, and the prices of other commodities such as lentils and salt have also increased. In mid-October, the Rapid Support Forces seized 20 trucks loaded with food supplies destined for the Al-Hissaheisa camp. After the Rapid Support Forces took control of the division affiliated with the army, they implemented punitive policies towards the population. They restricted movement and imposed limitations on any attempt to leave the camp in an effort to improve their international image by spreading rumors that they are protecting civilians. We have also witnessed similar actions in South Darfur State after they gained control of the 16th Division in Niyala. In Daein as well, the militias and Rapid Support Forces looted the United Nations' food stocks while they controlled the city. On November 21st, in addition to targeting some warehouses with heavy artillery, causing panic among the population, the traders relocated most of their goods to distant areas for security reasons. The city also witnessed cases of looting in some commercial establishments.

A village in North Kordofan is being subjected to looting and the killing of civilians : The village of Al-Qoz Abu Hamra, near the city of Um Rawaba in North Kordofan, has been subjected to looting and the killing of civilians. The entire region of North Kordofan has been experiencing a continuous wave of violence. Local residents, along with international sources, reported that the Rapid Support Forces attacked the village and opened fire on innocent civilians on November 10th. As a result, more than five people were killed and at least fifteen others were injured. Sources from the village also stated that the Rapid Support Forces looted homes and the market, as well as stole livestock, forcing the residents to completely evacuate the village. The wounded remain in a precarious situation, as there is a possibility that they may not survive, according to sources from the village.

The region of North Kordofan, including its capital Al-Obaid, has been enduring a series of violent incidents orchestrated by the Rapid Support Forces against civilians, especially in the southern and southwestern neighborhoods of the city. The forces have persistently penetrated marketplaces and engaged in almost daily gunfire in certain peripheral areas, putting the lives of residents at great risk. In early November, the Ministry of Health in North Kordofan reported a tally of 1,094 injuries. However, ongoing monitoring and direct communication with field committees suggest that the actual cumulative number of casualties could be as high as 2,000, representing a doubling of the rate compared to the various attacks carried out by the Rapid Support Forces in different locations. Medical sources further indicate that this number is likely to rise, as approximately nine hospitals have ceased their operations.

Siege in Omdurman and Killings and Arrests in Jebel Awlia: Jebel Awlia and the old neighborhoods of Omdurman can be considered as some of the most densely affected areas by military operations. The military operations targeting Almuhandsin' Camp and the imposed siege on the population in the surrounding areas are intensifying. Approximately 50,000 people are still living under the siege of the Rapid Support Forces in the Fataheab region, south of Omdurman. The coordination committees of the Resistance, Al-arabaa'een, Al-feel, and Al-Arada stated that the residents of the area are suffering from hunger and thirst due to the imposed siege by the Rapid Support Forces. The coordination committees highlighted in their statement on November 23, 2023, that the region lacks basic necessities of life, including a shortage of medicine. Additionally, punitive policies prevent citizens from escaping and saving themselves, exposing anyone attempting to leave to ambushes and violence. In Jebel Awlia, according to media sources, Rapid Support Forces raided the homes of civilians in neighborhoods such as Al-Daim, Al-Abbasia, Al-Hila Al-Jadeeda, and its extension, Armylands, Al-Duwehiyah, Al-Baja Abd al-Hadi, Dar Al-Salam, and Qoz Al-Sheikh Hamid in the evening of November 12th after their attack on Jebel Awlia, south of Khartoum.

The Attack on the Wad Mendi : After the Rapid Support Forces and the supporting militias began to expand south of Khartoum at the end of November, some areas adjacent to the White Nile State witnessed violations against civilians, targeting of local markets, and continuous looting. The city of Al-Qutena experienced various attempts to enter, causing panic among the residents. This tension led to the displacement of a number of citizens to villages in the White Nile State and the city of Kosti.

The wounded from Jebel Awlia, especially those treated in Al-Qutena hospital, consider it one of the cities that has hosted many displaced people from the south of Khartoum. However, the violations committed by the Rapid Support Forces have complicated the situation in the city, forcing citizens to flee again. The signs of the attack on Mendi began on Friday, December 15th, as a force left Khartoum and approached the oil pipeline areas, reaching the areas adjacent to the eastern parts of the city. Several villages, including Wadrawa, were looted, prisoners were released, and the market and commercial establishments in the area were robbed, with military bases established. Five civilians were killed in the Ab Ashar Al-Idariya area, indicating deliberate targeting and mistreatment of civilians by the militias. Additionally, it was reported that children were forced to participate and restrained in the vehicles used by the rebel militias during the attacks.On Monday, December 18th, the Rapid Support Forces managed to take control of the city of Wad Madani and entered several areas in the Gezira State, such as the Kamlin Al-Junaid and Al-Hasahisa areas, after the fall of the 1st Infantry Division of the Sudanese Army into the hands of the Rapid Support Forces.

Nearly 300 armed militias attacked the city, causing widespread insecurity. As a result, around 10,000 displaced people in Wad Madani experienced displacement once again, fleeing to areas closer to safety. Most of the healthcare and commercial services have shifted to the city, accommodating the displaced people from the Khartoum cities and hosting various state institutions. On December 19th, the militias burned down the entire Central Bank in Wad Madani and looted the homes of citizens, including car theft. Eyewitnesses reported that the militias targeted doctors, forcibly taking them to treat their wounded. On December 18th, they attacked the Rufaa Hospital, firing at a nurse in the intensive care unit and a healthcare worker, resulting in their deaths. They also abducted two doctors. Furthermore, they seized control of the Heart Hospital in Wad Madani, which is the most important cardiac hospital in Sudan. On December 19th, the Rapid Support Forces militia seized an ambulance from within a rest area belonging to children with cancer. In their ongoing attempts to terrorize the residents, the militia cut off the road for displaced people from Wad Madani to the eastern and Sinnar regions. They also forcibly returned citizens from the Sinnar road to the Gezira State. There are reports of rape incidents committed by members of the Rapid Support Forces against girls in the state. The people of Wad Madani in the Gezira State are living in harsh conditions due to the barbaric attacks by the Rapid Support Forces and their affiliated militias. They are suffering from the catastrophic humanitarian consequences resulting from these attacks.

Second Aspect : This level sheds light on the issue of the cholera outbreak in some states, in addition to the difficulties in opening schools and universities in certain states, along with the challenges faced by healthcare sectors and the extent of destruction in the industrial sector. Cholera Outbreak: The Sudanese Ministry of Health announced during the beginning of November 2023 a series of deaths, totaling 122 individuals in various Sudanese states, as a result of cholera and dengue fever between July 15th and October 27th. The report presented by the Federal Ministry of Health indicated that 49 people in Sudan had died, including 33 in the Gedaref State in eastern Sudan, due to dengue fever. The report also mentioned that the number of cases reached 3,316 infections, including 2,152 cases in Gedaref. Moreover, the report stated that 73 people had also died due to cholera, mostly in Gedaref and Khartoum, while there were 1,059 reported cases in Gedaref, Khartoum, South Kordofan, and Al-Jazirah states. These cases are increasing in these states due to the lack of sanitation and inadequate control over water sources. The states affected by the diseases are experiencing continuous waves of displacement, exacerbating the challenges faced by these states.

Until December 2nd, 2023, there have been at least 178.5 suspected cases of cholera, including 161 associated deaths (with a fatality rate of 1.3%) in 46 localities across nine states, according to the United Nations data as stated in the Sudan Cholera Outbreak Monitoring Dashboard issued by the World Health Organization. So far, there are 1,808 suspected cases of cholera and 48 associated deaths in Gedaref; 1,345 suspected cases and 23 associated deaths in Al-Jazirah State; 684 suspected cases and 28 associated deaths in Red Sea State; 463 suspected cases and 26 associated deaths in Khartoum State; 346 suspected cases and eight associated deaths in South Kordofan State; 399 suspected cases and 22 associated deaths in White Nile State; 69 suspected cases and three associated deaths in Sinnar State; 63 suspected cases and three associated deaths in Kassala State; and one suspected case in Blue Nile State. In Gedaref State, one of the doctors stated that the outbreak has spread due to the influx of crowds into the state, particularly within the city, which already suffers from limited resources. With the arrival of autumn and the spread of epidemics, the situation has worsened. The collapse of the healthcare system has left no space to protect the citizens or save lives.

Agriculture is at risk in conflict-affected areas: The agriculture sector in Sudan represents the backbone of the Sudanese economy, accounting for 40% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Additionally, it employs approximately 80% of the workforce, and rural populations constitute around 64% of the total population, according to the latest statistics from the World Bank for the year 2022 on population distribution in Sudan. Considering the distribution map of military operations, it is evident that these operations have spread across seven states that heavily rely on agriculture and livestock resources. The war erupted during crucial agricultural seasons, as the months when the conflict broke out coincide with the key agricultural season in these regions, which heavily rely on rain-fed agriculture. Despite the military operations and looting that occurred in several markets and villages at the hands of the Rapid Support Forces militia, along with the delayed harvest, some farmers have managed to carry out small-scale production to meet their food needs. However, the ongoing invasion of villages in West Kordofan and South Kordofan has destroyed the harvested crops, in addition to the inability to transport these crops to markets, as reported by some crop traders. Furthermore, the siege imposed by the Rapid Support Forces and its affiliated militias on the city of Al-Beid has disrupted trade movement. The attack on the crop market in Omdurman and its destruction has also affected crop markets. Therefore, despite the report issued by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry in May, there is a food security gap in some states, posing a significant threat to the population. This is mainly due to the military operations led by the Rapid Support Forces militias against civilians and farmers in Darfur and Kordofan states, as well as the systematic looting of crop markets.

Situations of Sudanese Refugees Abroad: The number of Sudanese refugees has reached approximately 6 million people who have fled during the past nine months. However, it is estimated that this number could be much higher, possibly reaching up to 9 million individuals. The undercounting and weak census efforts within the Khartoum state contribute to this discrepancy, where it is estimated that around 9 million people have left the state. The Jazeera state mentions the entry of around 7 million individuals. In Egypt alone, the number of refugees is approximately 370,000, while in Chad, it is around 900,000. Most of these refugees are from the first wave, and with the increase in conflicts during October and November, it is possible that the numbers exceed these estimates. Currently, more than 30,000 Sudanese refugee children attend public and private schools in Egypt. However, some children remain out of school due to the difficulties faced by their families in enrolling them, including the high cost of living, increased school fees, and other requirements. According to the UNHCR in Egypt, the number of refugees has exceeded 317,000, with more than 100,000 individuals registering with the commission's offices. Insufficient funding and budget deficits present significant challenges for international institutions, as well as the Sudanese government's limited capacity to adequately track and account for refugees. Furthermore, there are groups of young men and youth who have commenced unauthorized entry into Egypt through illicit smuggling routes, indicating potential difficulties that both the Egyptian and Sudanese authorities may encounter in managing the presence of Sudanese citizens in Egypt. It is imperative to recognize that disruptions in official channels may contribute to an influx of Sudanese citizens into Egypt through unofficial means. In Chad, the number of refugees has reached a staggering 900,000, with an additional influx of over 8,000 new refugees recorded during the initial week of November alone, as reported by regional authorities in Darfur. These refugees are dispersed among several primary camps, with Amchi camp being particularly noteworthy.

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