(Port Sudan) At least 27 people were killed and 130 injured in clashes between the Sudanese army and paramilitaries in el-Facher in the Darfur region, more than a year after the start of Sudan’s war, the UN reported on Sunday.

The clashes, which began on Friday, continued on Sunday, with planes bombing the east and north of the city (west) and exchanges of artillery fire, residents contacted by telephone by AFP said.

On Friday alone, fighting between the army and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) in el-Facher left at least “27 dead, 130 injured and displaced hundreds” of people, a statement said. communicated the UN Office of Humanitarian Affairs (Ocha).

According to Médecins sans Frontières (MSF), two children and a third person were killed on Saturday in an intensive care unit at the Babiker Nahar pediatric hospital, after an army airstrike very close to the establishment.

The roof of the care unit collapsed, leading to “the death of two children who were being treated there,” the organization said in a statement.

For several weeks, the international community has been warning of imminent carnage in the capital of the state of North Darfur, the only one of the five Darfur states not to be in the hands of the RSF.

On the night of Saturday to Sunday, Ocha coordinator for Sudan, Clementine Nkweta-Salami, reported shootings from “heavy weapons” in el-Facher, where 1.5 million people live, including 800 000 displaced.

On Friday, a medical source in the city’s only still functioning hospital told AFP that “the morgue was crowded with corpses.”

“During the fighting, the hospital did not have an ambulance to transport the wounded,” Ocha said on Sunday.

Since April 2023, Sudan has been in the grip of a war between the army, led by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhane, and the paramilitaries of his former deputy turned rival, General Mohamed Hamdane Daglo.

The conflict has left tens of thousands dead. In el-Geneina, capital of West Darfur, 10,000 to 15,000 people were killed, according to the UN.

Residents of el-Facher, about 400 kilometers east of el-Geneina, fear a similar scenario.

Their town had until now been relatively spared thanks to an agreement negotiated between local armed groups and the RSF.

But last month the two main armed groups renounced their neutrality to fight alongside the army. In response, paramilitaries besieged the city.

Both the army and the RSF have been accused of indiscriminate bombing of civilian areas and obstructing the passage of humanitarian aid, with the paramilitaries specifically accused of ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.