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How Sudan's conflict is impacting Darfur

Ahmed Gouja
Journalist and rights monitor based in Nyala, Darfur

Ahmed Gouja/TNH: Zalengei market has been destroyed by shelling as a result of the ongoing conflict in Sudan. Residents from the western Sudanese town have been using letters to communicate with their friends and family due to a communications blackout.

The war between Sudan’s army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) has been especially hard on the country’s westernmost Darfur region, which had already experienced several periods of armed conflict over the past two decades.

Some of Darfur’s largest cities have been severely damaged or suffered ethnic cleansing campaigns [Genocide Watch does not endorse the use of the term "ethnic cleansing"] since the conflict broke out in April. However, communities have also negotiated local ceasefires between the two sides and have banded together to help those in need.

As media attention wanes, we’ve asked Darfuri journalist and human rights monitor Ahmed Gouja to send us weekly updates on how the conflict is impacting different towns and communities in different ways.

Each week, Gouja – who has left Darfur for security reasons – will be gathering testimonies, photographs, and videos from his extensive network on the ground and talking us through what it all means for the civilian population.

Check back here to see each video, and for more background context on the Darfur conflict take a look through our recent dispatches and our archival reporting.

Week of 23 October 2023

For this week’s instalment, Gouja spoke to people who have escaped the conflict in Zalingei, which is the capital of Central Darfur, one of five states in the region. He details the situation in a displacement camp that has been caught in the middle of clashes between the RSF and SAF, and describes how a telecommunication blackout means Zalingei residents are giving news to friends and family by sending letters.

Week of 1 October 2023

In this first instalment, Gouja takes us through the situation in Nyala, the largest city in Sudan’s Darfur region and his hometown. He explains that periodic clashes between the army and the RSF have destroyed much of the city's public infrastructure and have displaced large numbers of people.

This project was funded by the H2H Network’s H2H Fund, which is supported by UK aid.

Edited by Ciara Lee and Philip Kleinfeld.

The New Humanitarian| © All rights reserved 2023

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