Médecins Sans Frontières staff and patients in medical facilities in Sudan are repeatedly experiencing armed incursions. Clinics and hospitals being looted of medicines and supplies. Their efforts have been hindered by violence and armed aggression and occupation. “We are experiencing a violation of humanitarian principles and the space for humanitarians to work is shrinking on a scale I’ve rarely seen before,” says Jean-Nicolas Armstrong Dangelser, MSF Coordinator.

KHARTOUM MAY 24: Médecins Sans Frontières staff and patients in medical facilities in Sudan are repeatedly experiencing armed incursions, with clinics and hospitals being looted of medicines and supplies; Their efforts to scale up medical activities in the country since conflict erupted have been hindered by violence and armed aggression and occupation of premises; MSF urges the Sudanese military and the Rapid Support Forces to ensure the safety of medical personnel and health facilities, and to allow safe passage of ambulances and people seeking healthcare.

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) condemns the unacceptable harassment of our staff and the violent looting and occupation of medical premises and supported facilities in Sudan. Staff and patients are repeatedly facing the trauma of armed groups entering and looting MSF premises, with medicines, supplies and vehicles being stolen. This shocking disregard for humanitarian principles and international humanitarian law has impeded MSFs ability to provide healthcare to people at a time when it is desperately needed.

MSF, which runs medical projects in 10 states in Sudan, has been attempting to scale up medical activities since intense fighting broke out between the Sudanese military and the Rapid Support Forces on 15 April. The scale up efforts have been continually hampered by violence, aggressive armed incursions, looting or armed occupation of our premises, as well as administrative and logistical challenges.

MSF call on all warring parties to ensure the safety of medical personnel and health facilities, to allow safe passage of ambulances and people seeking healthcare and to facilitate access and rapid and unimpeded movement for humanitarian workers, organisations and supplies. Although a nationwide ceasefire was announced between the warring parties on 20 May, local ceasefires have not always been respected in the past.

– “We are experiencing a violation of humanitarian principles and the space for humanitarians to work is shrinking on a scale I’ve rarely seen before,” says Jean-Nicolas Armstrong Dangelser, MSF’s Emergency Coordinator in Sudan.

– “After the looting of one of our medical warehouses in Khartoum, fridges were unplugged and medicines removed,” says Armstrong Dangelser. “The entire cold chain was ruined so the medicines are spoiled and can’t be used to treat anyone.”

– “We are shaken and appalled by these deplorable attacks,” Armstrong Dangelser continues. “People are in a desperate situation and the need for healthcare is critical, but these attacks make it so much harder for healthcare workers to help. It’s senseless.”

These attacks are not limited to MSF and are part of a wider trend of both warring parties disregarding civilian lives, infrastructure and healthcare facilities. As of 22 May, the World Health Organization has documented 38 attacks on healthcare since the conflict began. Hospitals and healthcare workers are protected under international humanitarian law, but there are reports of the occupation of hospitals by armed groups which can weaken their protection, putting patients, healthcare workers and facilities at risk.

This comes at a time when the conflict is having a dire impact on people in Sudan. People in Khartoum, Darfur and other places where fighting is most intense continue to suffer terribly amid ongoing violence. People are injured by gunshot wounds, stabbing and explosions, or are victims of sexual violence. Fighting, airstrikes and other violence close to health facilities can leave both patients and staff too afraid to reach them.

Sudan: Reports Of Civilians Atrocities

Image: Moiiinkhan

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