Darfur residents trapped and used as human shields – MSF

Source: BBC, Friday August 25, 2023

Markets and residential areas in the city of Nyala in the Sudan’s Darfur region have turned into battlegrounds in the last few days, staff working for Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) say.

“We have also been told that armed fighters have stormed homes and hidden inside, effectively using civilians as human shields and leaving them with no protected spaces,” MSF said in a statement.

MSF staff are being forced to bury their neighbours, family and friends during a surge in fighting in Nyala, the main city in South Darfur state, where tens of thousands of residents are trapped, the medial charity says.

On Wednesday, shelling caused the death of 27 people, mostly women and children, who were caught in the crossfire while hiding under a bridge, it said.

Elsewhere in South Darfur state, Kas Hospital was now controlled by armed groups, “leaving civilians with little to no options for medical care”, the charity said.

A civil war erupted in Sudan in mid-April between the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and the army as the two former allies battle for control of the country.

Darfur, the birthplace of the RSF that grew out of the Janjaweed militia accused of widespread atrocities two decades ago, has seen the worst of the violence.