The Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan Clementine Nkweta-Salami has expressed deep concern over continued reports of attacks against civilian infrastructure as brutal fighting continues across Sudan.
“I am deeply concerned that facilities that are necessary for the functioning of basic services including water, sanitation, and health care, are under attack in Sudan,” the Humanitarian Coordinator said.
In October alone there have been several incidents. On 9 October, shells struck Al Nao hospital, one of the last functioning hospitals in Omdurman, killing two people and injuring five others at a time when medical personnel were attending to patients. Four other shells exploded near the hospital, killing two more people.
This is only the latest such attack. Since 15 April, the World Health Organization has verified 58 attacks on the health care system resulting in 31 deaths and 38 injuries – an average of ten attacks per month. More than 70 per cent of health facilities in conflict-affected states are non-functional, severely limiting access to health care for millions of innocent civilians.
On 21 October, the Al Manara water treatment plan in Omdurman was fired on leading to the temporary stoppage of the water supply. This kind of disruption is extremely worrying given the ongoing cholera outbreak in Khartoum State and other parts of the country. Furthermore, a damaged water plant not only disrupts the supply for days but could also result in a prolonged crisis that affects agriculture, industry, and daily life.
“Over the past six months, I have repeatedly called on the Sudanese Armed Forces, the Rapid Support Forces, and all parties to Sudan’s conflict to protect civilian infrastructure. International Humanitarian Law is clear in this regard. All parties to armed conflict must take constant care to spare civilian objects, including humanitarian personnel and assets, and essential infrastructure. These attacks must stop,” she emphasized.
The Humanitarian Coordinator added: “The conflict has caused untold suffering in Sudan at a scale never seen before. Human dignity has gone out the window, and little is sacred anymore, not even hospital wards full of sick and wounded children. I implore the parties, yet again: end this terrible agony by silencing the guns”.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of OCHA Sudan.