Two Dead, Seven Injured as Sudanese Army Fires on Red Cross Convoy

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The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) suffered two fatalities and seven injuries after the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) opened fire on its aid convoy close to Khartoum.

This tragic incident happened on December 10, 2023, in the Al-Shajara neighbourhood, claimed two lives and left seven injured who were taken to hospital for further treatment.

Among the injured were several staff from the International Committee of the Red Cross who were in the convoy when it came under fire as they were evacuating civilians including foreign nationals from St. Mary’s Church in Khartoum.

According to ICRC, the humanitarian convoy which consisted of three ICRC vehicles and three buses were marked with the organization’s emblem, as it was heading to the evacuation zone to vacate over a hundred vulnerable civilians from Khartoum to Wad Madani when it was targeted.

Pierre Dorbes, head of the ICRC’s delegation in Sudan, said the ICRC was deeply shocked and disappointed at the deliberate attack on its humanitarian mission yet the evacuation operation had been carefully coordinated with all parties involved in the conflict, who had provided both approval and the required security guarantees.

“This attack is unacceptable. We are grief-stricken and I am shocked by the total disrespect for the Red Cross emblem, which must be respected and protected in accordance with international humanitarian law,’’ Dorbes noted.

Nabil Abdallah the Sudanese Army Spokesperson claims that the ICRC convoy had deviated from the agreed-upon route and was accompanied by a rebel vehicle from the Rapid armed with a 12.7mm machine gun crew, which approached their defensive positions on their way to evacuate civilians and foreign nationals trapped in the Church of St. Mary in Khartoum’s Al-Shajara district.

According to RSF Spokesperson the Red Cross delegation proceeded independently in accordance with the prearranged itinerary and coordination. However, when their vehicles entered areas under military control, they came under heavy fire from an armed forces affiliate.

Since the Armored Corps and munition factory are located in the Al-Shajara military region in southern Khartoum, which has been the scene of intense fighting between the two opposing forces for several months, this attack took place amid the ongoing armed conflicts between government forces and the RSF in Sudan.

Since April 15, Sudan has seen deadly clashes between the SAF and the RSF in Khartoum and other areas, which have claimed the lives of over 12,000 people. 6.6 million more have been displaced both inside and outside Sudan, despite multiple diplomatic attempts to put an end to the fighting.

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