The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) strongly condemns the violence in Geneina, West Darfur, which has caused the loss of at least 191 lives, including one of their community volunteers. The violence has led to the burning and destruction of dozens of settlements, and thousands of people have been displaced. The NRC office and guesthouse have also been looted.
Jan Egeland, Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council, stated, “We mourn the loss of our volunteer, Elsheikh Mohamed Omer, who was himself displaced, and was dedicated to supporting his community.” Elsheikh was killed on Sunday, April 30th, while working in an informal settlement in Geneina. He was part of a team that supported camp management through community outreach, messaging, and data collection.
The violence began on April 25th in the capital of West Darfur, with heavy armed clashes between various local armed groups. Days of intensive fighting in the middle of the city have caused widespread destruction and burning of property. Health facilities, the central market, humanitarian premises, and public buildings were looted. The situation has caused widespread panic and forced many people to flee for their lives. Pillaging, burning, and targeting of civilian homes within Geneina continue.
NRC is deeply concerned for the safety of those affected by this rampant violence, including their colleagues who have had their homes burnt and looted. West Darfur has been at the heart of boiling violence in Darfur, with regular and deliberate attacks on civilians since 2021. Displaced communities are desperately looking for safety and gathering in the remaining sites, all already overcrowded.
On this 9th day of war across Sudan, the appalling scenes of violence and bloodshed continue unabated, particularly in the capital, Khartoum and Geneina. Egeland said, “Families across Sudan, including those of our colleagues, are being torn apart and having to choose between remaining trapped in the battlefield or risking their lives to flee or reach an overcrowded hospital. They are running out of everything, including water, food, electricity, fuel, and cash. We need the international community to put as much effort into securing humanitarian access, regardless of ceasefire and in providing aid to millions of people as they have in evacuating their own citizens.”
The situation in Sudan is dire, and urgent action is needed to prevent further loss of life and displacement of communities. The international community must come together to aid and support those affected by the conflict and work towards a peaceful resolution.