Sudan: Last Hospital in El Fasher Closes After Attack by RSF Paramilitaries

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The last operational hospital in El Fasher, located in the Darfur region of eastern Sudan, was forced to close its doors this weekend following an attack by paramilitary forces loyal to General Hemedti. For over a month, the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) have been mounting an offensive on this last major city in Darfur still under the control of the Sudanese army.

On Saturday morning, as intense fighting raged near the southern hospital of El Fasher, a group of paramilitaries stormed the facility. They opened fire inside the building, ransacked offices, and made off with part of the pharmacy and an ambulance belonging to the NGO Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF).

Most patients had been evacuated days earlier due to the ongoing intense combat. On the day of the attack, only about ten patients and a reduced medical team remained. According to MSF, all managed to escape unharmed.

Michel Olivier Lacharité, head of MSF’s emergency program, stated that a critical line had been crossed: “What makes this incident particularly egregious is that the RSF forces entered the hospital and fired shots inside it. This facility was one of the few capable of handling an influx of injured people. We are trying to restore or find new structures to provide surgical care for the wounded. However, we are extremely concerned about these attacks in the heart of the city, which impact civilians and target hospital structures.”

The southern hospital, already bombed multiple times, had to cease its operations according to the Ministry of Health and MSF, which supports the facility. In May 2024, the city’s pediatric hospital also closed after a bombing killed two children.

In a likely underestimated tally, at least 192 people have been killed and over 1,230 injured in a month of fighting in El Fasher, where clashes occur daily.

Soukaina Sghir

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