Doctors Without Borders (MSF) charity warns of potential suspension of operations at a hospital in Khartoum after their team was violently attacked by militants while transporting medical supplies.
Doctors Without Borders (MSF) charity warned of suspending their work at one of the last two remaining hospitals in south Khartoum after being viciously attacked in Khartoum on Friday.
Militants had reportedly threatened and assaulted 18 MSF employees while they were transporting medical supplies to Khartoum’s Turkish Hospital which is located in the southern region of Khartoum that is under the control of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF).
During the attack, MSF personnel were physically beaten and threatened, with one driver held captive and his life put at risk before being released. Additionally, the attackers stole one of the organization’s vehicles. The incident has cast uncertainty over MSF’s continued presence at the Turkish Hospital.
MSF, one of the few international medical humanitarian organizations still operating in Khartoum, has been providing crucial medical aid to the city. However, due to the escalating violence and obstruction of their operations, the charity expressed concerns about the viability of their presence at the Turkish Hospital. The incident occurred a mere 700 meters away from the hospital, which, on the same day, received 44 patients wounded in an airstrike.
Christophe Garnier, MSF’s emergencies manager for Sudan, emphasized that without minimum safety guarantees and unhindered movement of supplies, their activities at the hospital could become untenable if such incidents recur.
MSF revealed that they have treated over 1,600 war-wounded patients in Khartoum since the conflict began. The World Health Organization has confirmed 51 attacks on healthcare in Sudan since the outbreak of hostilities, resulting in 10 deaths and 24 injuries.
Earlier this week, representatives of the Sudanese army have returned to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, to resume negotiations with the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) paramilitary group. The talks, mediated by Saudi and US officials, were adjourned last month due to repeated ceasefire violations.
“A delegation of the armed forces has returned to Jeddah to resume negotiations with Rapid Support Forces rebels,” the source said, as quoted by AFP, while speaking on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak to media.
Concurrently, clashes were reported in Khartoum, Sudan’s capital, and the conflict between army chief Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan and RSF commander Mohamed Hamdan Daglo has resulted in thousands of casualties and millions of people displaced since it began four months ago.
The army delegation’s return to Saudi Arabia indicates a renewed focus on diplomatic efforts after boycotting talks in Addis Ababa. Previously, the Sudanese foreign ministry objected to Kenyan President William Ruto leading a delegation from the East African regional bloc IGAD, accusing Kenya of supporting the RSF.
The mediators had grown frustrated with both sides’ lack of commitment to a lasting ceasefire. Experts suggest that Burhan and Daglo may be pursuing a war of attrition to gain more concessions in future negotiations.