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Dozens killed in escalating battle for El Fasher

Dozens of people have been killed in intensifying clashes over El Fasher, the capital of North Darfur, including at least two children by an airstrike that reportedly hit the intensive care unit of a paediatric clinic overnight into Sunday, according to Médecins Sans Frontières.

The paramilitary Rapid Support Forces have besieged El Fasher – the only remaining city in the Sudanese army’s control – for months in their quest to take full control of Darfur, leaving hundreds of thousands trapped inside and deepening the western region’s humanitarian crisis.

Fighting is particularly intense near the Abu Shouk camp for displaced people, where army-aligned groups are taking on RSF fighters stationed to the north. Shells have fallen inside the camp, killing dozens of people. More and more people are reportedly arriving every day with injuries sustained from nearby clashes.

El Fasher, Darfur’s largest city and a key humanitarian hub, is home to an estimated 800,000 people, including many who have already been displaced by conflict in other parts of the region, where RSF atrocities have led to ethnic cleansing and genocide warnings.

Sudan’s war entered its second year in April. According to the UN, it has led to the world’s largest displacement crisis, with close to 25 million people in need of emergency assistance, including around 5 million on the brink of famine and nearly 7 million severely undernourished children.

For an unusual but powerful take on the situation, read this first person from Hawa Rahma, a Sudanese journalist who has been unable to cover the conflict because of the dangers involved: A Sudanese journalist describes the horrors of a war she cannot cover

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