Local security conflict Event icon
Event title

Sudan - Sudan Fighting Threatens Merowe UNESCO World Heritage Site

Event category

Social incident - Local security conflict

Event date (UTC)

2024-01-18 16:35:32

Last update (UTC)

2024-04-15 06:51:07

Severity

High

Latitude

15.64399

Longitude

32.50668

Area range

Country wide event

Address/Affected area(s)

Sudan

Clashes between the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) have been reported near archaeological sites on Merowe Island, a UNESCO World Heritage site in River Nile state. SAF airstrikes reportedly targeted El Giteina, White Nile state. Explosions were heard in the vicinity of the Wadi Sedna military base in Omdurman. The RSF is reportedly imposing hefty levies along the road linking El Obeid, North Kordofan to El Fasher, North Darfur. Yesterday, SAF warplanes carried out airstrikes southeast of Nagaa and El Musawwarat in River Nile state, targeting RSF units attempting to infiltrate the area. A statement by the SAF 3rd Infantry Division, seen by Radio Dabanga, said the airstrikes resulted in "losses and injuries among RSF fighters in the area". A video circulating on social media seemed to show two RSF soldiers posing at El Musawwarat archaeological site. In a statement yesterday, the Regional Network for Cultural Rights "strongly condemned the RSF incursion" on Nagaa and El Musawwarat, on January 14 and previously on December 3, citing "reliable sources, images, and videos posted on social networks showing fighting between the army and the RSF, which likely exposed the sites to vandalism, destruction, looting, and theft". Nagaa and El Musawwarat house religious sites belonging to the Ancient Kingdom of Kush and are part of Merowe Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Regional Network for Cultural Rights cautioned against turning areas of historical and cultural antiquities into battlefields, reminding both sides of the importance of preserving cultural heritage and historical antiquities "under the provisions of international law and the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property" ratified by Sudan in 1970.

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