Sudan: Attack on ICRC convoy in Khartoum
In Sudan, a convoy of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) was attacked on Sunday 10 December, killing at least two people and injuring seven, including three employees of the humanitarian organization. The operation aimed to evacuate around <> people caught up in the fighting in Khartoum, the capital, between the national army and RSF paramilitaries. But humanitarian vehicles have been targeted. The ICRC protested vigorously.
The ICRC in action in Sudan (illustrative image). AFP PHOTO/Waakhe WUDU
By: Africa Follow Service
The ICRC said it was "appalled and shocked" by the attack on its convoy. Three cars and three buses were to travel inside Khartoum, in the Al-Shagara neighbourhood, to transport about 100 vulnerable people, mainly children, orphans, the sick and the elderly, to the town of Wad Madani, outside the capital.
But the convoy of six vehicles, all marked with the Red Cross, came under fire "as it entered the evacuation zone," the ICRC said. "This is an unacceptable attack. I am shocked by the total lack of respect for the emblem of the Red Cross, which must be protected in accordance with humanitarian law," said Pierre Dorbes, head of the organization in Sudan. The operation had to be cancelled. However, the ICRC recalls that the evacuation had been requested and coordinated by the parties to the conflict, who had "given their agreement" and "provided security guarantees".
The army behind the shooting
The army has admitted to being behind the shooting. Sudanese forces say the convoy violated the agreement by veering off the planned route and approaching a defensive position with a rebel car equipped with a machine gun. The RSF, for its part, said that five of its men had indeed escorted the convoy, for safety's sake, but only to the edge of their territory. Then the ICRC continued on its own as planned and the army fired on its vehicles, the paramilitaries say.
Two opposing versions in an incident that endangers the much-anticipated meeting between the leaders of the two sides in 15 days' time.
Read alsoSudan: Generals al-Burhan and "Hemedti" agree to meet at the end of the IGAD summit
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