Report of violations against civilians in South Khartoum & Al-Kalakla

Since April 15th, the warring parties caused the loss of civilian life, destruction of property and infrastructure, as well as the restriction of access to basic services. This report reviews the violations that citizens were subjected to in South Khartoum and Al-Kalakla. The Sudanese Human Rights Group (Huqooq) in cooperation with the Al-Kalakla and South Khartoum Emergency Room collected information about the current situation in the aforementioned area. The Emergency Room includes the following two administrative units:

  1. Jabal Awliya, which includes (Al-Qadisiyah, Al-Dakhinat, Al-Fataih, Um Osher, Al-Shaqilab, Al-Iskan, Al-Andalus, Taiba, Al-Assal, Jabal Awliya, Dar Al-Salam, Qury Al-Salam, etc..).
  2. Al-Kalakla, which includes (Al-Qala’a, Al-Munawarah, Abu Adam, Sanqa’at, Al-Wihda, Al-Qubba North, Al-Qubba South, Al-Qatiyyah, Wad Amarah, etc..).
An explosion in the satellite area, Al-Shaqilab

The population of the region in the two administrative units is estimated at about 2.5 million people. There are three camps for the conflicting forces within the residential areas, namely: –

  1. The Central Reserve Camp which is located in the Al-Shaqilab area and belongs to the Central Reserve Forces.
  2. The Air Base Camp which is located in the Jabal Awliya area near the Jabal Awliya reservoir and belongs to the armed forces.
  3. Taiba Camp which is located in the Taiba Al-Hasanab area and is affiliated with the Rapid Support Forces.

The populated areas neighboring the camps are witnessing air strikes, indiscriminate use of explosive weapons, and breaches of agreed truces to secure humanitarian corridors, in violation of the Geneva Conventions. Some residents were forced to leave their homes, some homes were occupied and many citizens are still trapped in their homes without water or electricity and with limited resources.

Violations against civilians’ rights in Jabal Awliya

The Taiba area and its surrounding neighborhoods witnessed several air strikes by the Air Force. On Saturday, the 15th of April, Taiba al-Hasanab camp, which is the main camp of the Rapid Support Forces in the south of Khartoum, was bombed. On the 12th of May, the areas southeast of Al-Kalakla and Taiba Al-Hasanab were bombarded up to the borders of the Central Reserve. Clashes also broke out in the areas of the air base in Jabal Awliya.

On Sunday, the 14th of May, the aerial bombardment continued on the Satellite Station in Al-Shaqilab. On Thursday, May 18, warplanes bombed the camp and part of the Taiba neighborhood where the Rapid Support Forces are located. In conjunction with the aerial bombardment, the area witnessed battles on the ground between the Rapid Support Forces and the Central Reserve Forces,  fighting alongside the Sudanese army.

Injury cases varied among the residents of the bombed areas in South Khartoum. According to an eyewitness, a woman working as a tea lady  in the Mawaddah market in the Shaqilab area was injured, as she was hit by shrapnel in her right hand while working. The injury resulted in the amputation of one of her fingers, and she was taken to the Turkish hospital for treatment.

On Monday, the 22nd of May, an explosion occurred as a result of the remnants of a missile shell in the Taiba al-Hasanab area. A witness stated that there were no clashes in the area at the time of the incident, and the presence of the shell was attributed to previous clashes. The explosion resulted in seven injuries of varying severity, including a serious injury that was transferred to the Military Hospital. Two others were transferred to the operating rooms at the Turkish Hospital, while the condition of the other four was stable. 

Security threats arose from the presence of the army and rapid support camps near residential areas, in addition to the presence of rapid support forces inside residential neighborhoods, where they are largely concentrated in the administrative neighborhoods of Jabal Awliya, specifically in the (Al-Shaqilab, Al-Assal, Al-Tariah, and Al-Zahraa, and Tayba) areas and along Jabal Awliya Street. There is also the Central Reserve Camp and the Air Base. The neighborhoods also witness the complete absence of the police, and the presence of armed gangs wielding cold weapons and firearms within the neighborhoods.

According to an eyewitness, the Rapid Support Forces are committing various violations against citizens in the Shaqilab area. The witness recounts: “I was sitting near Al-Jurf Market, close to a restaurant, where a group of young men were eating, and at that time three members of the Rapid Support Forces appeared firing shots in the air near the young men, then expelled them from the restaurant and took over their food”.

The eyewitness continued to narrate the violations of the Rapid Support Forces, he said: “On Friday, May 19, 2023, around six soldiers, dressed in Rapid Support Forces uniforms and armed with Kalashnikov rifles, entered the largest food and consumer goods shop in the Shaqilab area and the neighboring areas. It was around 11:00 p.m. and they found about 18 people there, including six workers sitting near the shop, they forced them to stand up, took their mobile phones, beat and flogged them, and at gunpoint forced the shop owner to open his shop and stole all the money and the phones of the 18 young men. Death threats were made to anyone who protested or made a sound”.

The eyewitness added that as a result of this incident, the owner of the shop evacuated and closed the shop, and how it was also noted that many shops closed after the incident. He added that it is expected that the Al-Jurf market is expected to close soon and how the same abuses are practiced in another market in the region called the Mawaddah Market. The eyewitness indicated that the Al-Jurf market, which the residents of the region depend on for buying their daily needs, will be closed in the next few days due to the increasing incidents of armed robbery and looting by the Rapid Support Forces in the region.

The eyewitness added that the Rapid Support Forces forcibly shave the heads of young men for humiliation, and use firearms against civilians. “In Al-Jurf market, the Rapid Support Forces called out to a young child, and they shot at him when he ran away in fear but fortunately the injury he sustained was superficial. Later on the same day a rapid support officer came to the child’s parents in order to pay financial compensation”.

It is worth noting that the residents of the region suffer from major challenges with regard to basic services. From the continuous outages in the electricity and water supplies, these outages may sometimes extend for periods of up to five consecutive days. Additionally, they suffer from the shortage of food supplies and the provision of necessary commodities.

Violations against civilians’ rights in Al-Kalakla

Although no military forces were stationed in the area, rapid support vehicles were seen passing by on the 29th of April. Additionally, a number of houses were damaged in Al-Kalakla Sanqa’at and the Wad Amara neighborhoods as a result of anti-aircraft and the DShK rounds fired at the houses during air bombardments. The residents were left exposed to random shots and one of the survivors recounts, “I was standing near the tree in my house when a bullet passed half a meter away from me “.

On Wednesday, the 24th of April, the residents of Al-Kalakla area on Al-Qubba Street (15) were subjected to air strikes by the Air Force. This shelling resulted in the death of Adam Hamid Dangas, and injuries suffered by his wife and seven others, all of whom were transferred to the Turkish Hospital. Six homes were also destroyed in this attack.

Houses destroyed resulting from the bombing in Al-Kalakla Al-Qubba

Unofficial statistics indicate that at least 40 people have been killed and hundreds injured as a result of the clashes in the two administrative units. Some houses were completely destroyed, while others were partially damaged in these events. 

Many hospitals were affected and are out of service as a result of the bombing and the difficulty of access by medical personnel. According to a report by the preliminary committee of the Sudan Doctors’ Trade Union, about 70 percent of the capital’s hospitals were disrupted and stopped providing medical services to patients. This situation poses a major challenge to the country’s health system and negatively affects people’s ability to access essential healthcare.

There are three hospitals in the Al-Kalakla and South Khartoum Emergency Room’s area of operation, which are:

1. Turkish Hospital (Operational)

2. Jabal Awliya Hospital (Non-Operational)

3. Central Reserve Hospital (military and civilian) (Closed)

There are six fully functional primary health centers in the area, but they only provide primary health care services, and refer patients to the Turkish Hospital, while it is difficult to transfer patients to the Central Reserve Hospital due to the ongoing clashes surrounding it.

An eyewitness told Huqooq, that a resident of the Shaqilab area, Abdul Rahim Al-Mahsi (74 years old), died on May 21. He suffered from high blood sugar and passed away from our inability to transfer him to the Turkish hospital in a timely manner due to the Rapid Support Forces inside the neighborhood firing anti-aircraft missiles. The hospital does not provide all the necessary medical services to citizens, and there are fears of its collapse soon due to rising pressure, as the hospital covers the entire Al-Kalakla region and most of South Khartoum.

The population of the Al-Kalakla region has not been displaced significantly due to the infrequent clashes between the forces fighting within the region, and also due to the inability of the population to bear the costs of immigration or asylum, as most of its residents are low-income individuals.

We urge the international community to strengthen its efforts to put pressure on the warring parties to come to the negotiating table and search for peaceful solutions to a ceasefire, and to stress the importance of adhering to armistices and agreements related to a ceasefire to deescalate the situation and reduce human suffering and to facilitate the provision of safe passages for the transport of humanitarian relief and ensuring its access to the affected areas.