Doctors Without Borders warn “humanitarian catastrophe” as death toll reaches 134 in Sudan News
Henry Wilkins/VOA, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Doctors Without Borders warn “humanitarian catastrophe” as death toll reaches 134 in Sudan

At least 134 people have been killed in the past two weeks as a result of recent escalations in the ongoing conflict between Sudan’s military and paramilitary group Rapid Support Forces (RSF), Doctors without Borders reported Sunday.

Doctors without Borders, also known as Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), said, “We have now treated 979 casualties since the fighting began over two weeks ago, and the death toll has reached 134 – a sign of the violent intensity of the fighting.” 

The loss of life is a result of escalated conflict between the Sudanese Armed Forces and Rapid Support Forces (RSF), a paramilitary group aided by Arab militias known as Janjaweed. The conflict began in April 2023, when tensions between the two groups boiled over in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum. Over a year later, the fighting has anchored itself in el-Fasher, the provincial capital of North Darfur and the military’s final stronghold. The abhorrent humanitarian crisis that grips Sudan continues to leave a pathway of displacement and loss of life in its wake.

USA executive director Avril Benoît says, “Our medical teams on the ground are providing emergency medical treatment, carrying out trauma surgery and cesarean sections, and running mobile clinics for displaced people”. Benoît warns of a looming famine and alarming backdrop of malnutrition, as well as the intensification of ethnic violence as the conflict wears on. Per Benoît, “What has been a collection of localized humanitarian crises has quickly evolved into an all-consuming humanitarian catastrophe”.

Last month, the UN Security Council issued a press statement urging the Sudanese Armed Forces and RSF to de-escalate the conflict, seek a sustainable ceasefire and comply with their obligations under international humanitarian law. The Security Council has also called on all Member States to refrain from external interference, which could threaten instability. Member States must adhere to the arms embargo measures in Resolution 1556 (2005). The resolution obliges states to prevent the sale or supply of arms to the Janjaweed operating in North, South, and West Darfur.

Doctors without Borders is an international aid organization whose mission is to offer medical humanitarian assistance to those in war-torn, disease-stricken areas. On May 25, the group reported the loss of a staff member who was tragically killed when shelling hit his home in Sudan; “[m]any of our staff lost family members or their homes during the shelling as well”.

As the fighting continues, the shortage of medical staff and the urgent need for medical supplies become ever-apparent. The warning of Claire Nicolet, head of emergency programs, rings clear:

Medical supplies are running out—we have only around 10 days of supplies left, so we urgently need to be able to restock the hospital. We need safe access and authorizations from the warring parties to be able to do this. If we don’t get these supplies, it will be extremely difficult to continue to treat the wounded.