Last Civilian Hospital In Beseiged Sudan City Closed After Deadly Attack

DOCTORS at one of the last functioning hospitals in the besieged Sudanese city of el-Fasher say they’ve been forced to close down the facility after it was attacked.

The country is in the midst of a devastating civil war that began 14 months ago.

El-Fasher is the only city still under army control in the entire Darfur region.

The hospital has been supported by the medical charity Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) which had described it as the only one left in el-Fasher where injured civilians could receive treatment.

For several days there had been reports of shells hitting the city’s South Hospital, causing injuries and deaths.

But eyewitnesses say the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) entered the facility on Saturday, causing chaos.

According to accounts, gunmen drove up to the hospital and opened fire – looting drugs and medical equipment, stealing an ambulance and assaulting staff.

When it was attacked on Saturday, thankfully only 10 patients and a reduced medical team were at the facility, MSF says.

“The hospital is really close to the frontline, so it will remain closed for now,” the medical charity’s Sudan chief tells the BBC.

Fuel, electricity and water supplies do not yet work at the nearby dilapidated Saudi Hospital where MSF is having to move their el-Fasher operations, says Mr Kowalski, leaving injured civilians with nowhere to go for at least a week.

Saturday’s attack is yet another sign that there are no rules in the Sudanese civil war.

“Opening fire inside a hospital crosses a line,” says MSF Head of Emergencies Michel Lacharite. He calls the attack “outrageous” and says “the responsibility lies with warring parties to spare medical facilities”.

The Sudanese national army, which has been fighting the RSF over the past year, has also been accused of widespread abuses.

But in this case the RSF has forced a hospital where civilians were being treated to shut down.

The suspension of activities at the hospital is a major setback for the people of el-Fasher as it was the main referral facility for treating the war-wounded.

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