Sudan: Attack on ICRC Convoy in Khartoum

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A convoy of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) was attacked on Sunday, December 10, resulting in at least two deaths and seven injuries, including three employees of the humanitarian organization. The operation aimed to evacuate around a hundred people trapped in the fighting in Khartoum, the capital, between the national army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF). However, humanitarian vehicles were targeted, prompting a strong protest from the ICRC.

The ICRC expressed being “appalled and shocked” by the attack on its convoy. Three cars and three buses were supposed to travel to the Al-Shagara neighborhood within Khartoum to transport vulnerable individuals, mainly children, orphans, the sick, and the elderly, to the town of Wad Madani outside the capital.

The convoy of six vehicles, all marked with the Red Cross, came under fire “when it entered the evacuation zone,” explained the ICRC. “This is an unacceptable attack. I am shocked by the total disregard for the Red Cross emblem, which must be protected by international humanitarian law,” reacted Pierre Dorbes, the organization’s head in Sudan. The operation had to be canceled, even though the evacuation had been requested and coordinated by the conflicting parties, who had “given their agreement” and “provided security guarantees.”

Army Acknowledges Responsibility for Shots

The army acknowledged being responsible for the gunfire. Sudanese forces claimed that the convoy had violated the agreement by deviating from the planned route and approaching a defensive position with a rebel vehicle equipped with a machine gun. The RSF, on the other hand, stated that five of their men had indeed escorted the convoy for security reasons but only up to the limit of their territory. After that, the ICRC proceeded alone as planned, and the army fired on its vehicles, according to the paramilitaries.

Two conflicting versions emerge in an incident that jeopardizes the highly anticipated meeting between the leaders of the two camps scheduled in the next 15 days.

Soukaina Sghir

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