Al-Mansoura neighborhood is located within the administrative borders of the Umbada locality. It includes four blocks, 1,200 houses, 2,880 families, and a total population of about 14,000 individuals, according to the area’s Emergency Room.
The Mansoura neighborhood winessed clashes between the Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces despite the absence of military facilities or bases in the area. It has been considered a battlefield in which all types of weapons were used since the beginning of the war on April 15th. The Rapid Support Forces are stationed around and inside the neighborhood, leaving it under continuous bombardment with missiles and other types of weapons. This did not stop even during the days of the armistice signed between the forces.
The report narrates violations committed by the warring factions in the region, as well as the adverse impact on the region’s services, health, and security conditions due to the ongoing conflict.
The Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and Rapid Support Forces (RSF) Violations
The violations by the SAF consist of the continuous pattern of indiscriminate shelling on residential areas when clashes resume between the warring forces in Mansoura neighborhood, where the RSF are concentrated, disregarding the safety and well-being of civilian population. This led to the death of eight individuals on both April 17th and 22nd.
April 17th, 2023 shelling:
- Abdul Qadir Abdul Salam Mohamed Ahmed, 19 years old,
April 22nd, 2023 shelling:
- Walid Abdel Raouf, 15 years old,
- Khaled Abdel Raouf, 21 years old,
- Mohammed Ismail, 22 years old,
- Al-Sadeq Salah Hussein, 20 years old,
- Mohannad Salah Hussein, 19 years old,
- Hamad Ahmed Salem, 35 years old.
More than twenty residents of the neighborhood were injured, their injuries ranged from moderate to severe. The damage also included the destruction of six houses.
Meanwhile, violations by the Rapid Support Forces included seeking shelter in residential houses and leaving civilians vulnerable to aerial bombardment, forcibly displacing homeowners, and looting houses in the neighborhood. The Rapid Support Forces also target civilians, arresting and torturing some residents under the pretext of their affiliation with the armed forces. On May 11th, the forces arrested six civilians, including:
- M.M.A, 30 years old.
- A.A.A, 28 years old.
- A. A, 34 years old.
- H.A, 40 years old.
- Y.M.A, 37 years old.
- B.M, 30 years old.
They were released following ten days of detention. It is worth mentioning that the Rapid Support Forces have detention centers in the Mansoura neighborhood, according to eyewitness accounts. Both forces violate international humanitarian law, which protects civilians and prohibits targeting them or their properties.
Basic Services in Mansoura Neighborhood
The Mansoura neighborhood experienced a complete power outage that lasted the first week of the war, and the electricity service remains unstable until today. This led to a complete water shudown in the neighborhood up to this day. As one resident of Mansoura stated “Since the beginning of the war, water has been completely cut off in the neighborhood. Residents had to buy water at prices ranging from 6,000 to 8,000 Sudanese pounds at the start of the war. However, they are now unable to afford the high cost, so they have to travel approximately one kilometer to draw water from the neighboring Al-Bustan neighborhood. Moreover, more than 90% of the area’s residents do not have access to cooking gas and have resorted to using coal for cooking. Where they need coal worth 2,000 pounds per day for cooking.”
Health Services in Mansoura Neighborhood
The healthcare situation in the Mansoura neighborhood has deteriorated significantly. There is no hospital within the neighborhood, and the emergency room operates with the assistance of two available doctors three times a week. The emergency room also suffers from the lack of an in-house laboratory. Residents of Mansoura face great difficulty in accessing healthcare services. They usually receive treatment at Omdurman Hospital, which is currently completely out of service, and the Military Hospital. An eyewitness states, “On April 17th, the neighborhood was heavily shelled, resulting in the deaths of two people and injuries to two others. The residents of the neighborhood had to rush them to the Military Hospital, but the hospital did not receive the civilian casualties. After interventions, one of the injured was admitted while the other wasdenied treatment. It has become impossible to transport injured residents of the neighborhood to receive treatment at the Military Hospital. Additionally, there is the Umbada Hospital, which is located 6 kilometers away from Mansoura neighborhood, and reaching it poses a threat to the lives of citizens. There is also a challenge of finding a means of transportation to reach the hospital.”
This forced the doctors in Al-Mansoura neighborhood Emergency Room to perform three surgeries to extract bullets from the bodies of the injured. A gunshot wound was extracted from a child in the chest close to the heart inside the Emergency Room with the lack of the simplest medical supplies.
The Rapid Support Forces are stationed in Block 1 and part of Block 2 which are located in the eastern part of Al-Mansoura where public transportation is and through which the injured can be evacuated to the Umbada Hospital. This constitutes a threat to the lives of the injured and the paramedics as well. An eyewitness told Huqooq, “One resident of the neighborhood was shot in the neck and was initially treated in the emergency room. It was necessary to transfer him to Umbada Hospital, but was dead on arrival.” The eyewitness also mentioned that their arrival at the hospital was delayed due to the presence of four checkpoints for the Rapid Support Forces on the road, where they were thoroughly searched, resulting in a delay to save the wounded.
Access to Food Supplies
In terms of the economic situation, most conflict-affected areas suffer from a scarcity of food due to restrictions on trade routes, making it difficult to deliver food supplies to affected areas. The instability and collapse of infrastructure have caused difficulties for companies and farmers in providing food products, leading to a shortage of food and increased prices. Additionally, the war has disrupted work and rendered banks out of service, creating challenges for civilians to access their sources of income. “Since the start of the ongoing war, we have relied on the food stock from Ramadan month, but after more than forty days of war, all the supplies have run out…,” says the eyewitness. The eyewitness added that the majority of residents in the Mansoura area have low incomes and rely on daily wages, and they are experiencing a severe shortage of food. “Residents of Block 2 and Block 3 depend on two out of six stores that used to provide food supplies, and it is expected that all resources will be depleted in the coming days,” continues the eyewitness. “Furthermore, there is one bakery out of five bakeries that residents of Mansoura, as well as part of Hamad al-Nil and neighboring areas, rely on. Long queues extend for more than three hours, and it does not cover all the residents of the neighborhood. There are also concerns that the area could turn into a war zone at any moment”.
In response to the current situation, the emergency room worked on securing food supplies through donations. They managed to support families for a period of three weeks since the start of the war. “The emergency room identified 300 families living below the poverty line and in difficult economic conditions. Currently, these families are suffering from the lack of any source of support after the donations that used to reach the emergency room stopped… Daily wage workers make up 90% of the neighborhood’s population, and they are in urgent need of immediate support,” according to the eyewitness’s account.
Amidst the lack of security and the instability in conflict-affected areas, the level of crime, especially armed looting, has increased. Armed gangs or individuals in Rapid Support Forces uniforms are carrying out acts of armed looting, according to eyewitness accounts. “The closest market to the area is the (Karur) market, located approximately 2 kilometers away from Mansoura neighborhood, where Rapid Support Forces are stationed. The road to the market is not entirely safe, as individuals face the risk of assault by robbery gangs or Rapid Support Forces, who loot everything, even if it’s a bag of vegetables…” said the witness, emphasizing the level of danger within the market.
As a result of the armed conflict, several families were displaced in the early days of the war. Due to difficult living conditions, high travel and accommodation costs in other states, and the difficulty of traveling to the borders of neighboring countries, many people returned to their homes in the neighborhood, bearing the scourge of the war. “Now, most of the families residing in the neighborhood are trapped in it, and the reasons for not displacing include the financial hardship that hinders the ability to travel and escape from this war. Everyone is now awaiting their fate, feeling helpless,” said the eyewitness.
Efforts and pressure must be accelerated to reach a peaceful solution to the ongoing conflicts and restore stability and peace. The protection of civilians should be of utmost priority, and necessary measures must be taken to ensure their safety and security in accordance with international legal standards. All warring parties must comply with international laws, including the Fourth Geneva Convention, which defines the protection of civilians during times of conflict and prohibits torture, cruel treatment, and arbitrary detention.