On the streets of El Geneina, the capital of West Darfur – nestled between private houses mostly made of earth – are large, concrete public buildings. Some used to be schools, others a tribunal and a theatre. Now they are all flooded with people fleeing recent waves of violence.
In January 2021, the Kirinding camp for internally displaced people (IDP) on the outskirts of town was attacked by gunmen for the second time in just over a year. The houses were largely burned – their ruined earthen walls are now covered with soot; on the ashen ground, abandoned donkeys roll their backs, causing grey clouds to rise up and get carried by the winds. In the empty streets are scattered broken pieces of pottery, grain and luggage the attackers did not loot and that the 50,000 residents had no time to take with them.
A Rapid Support Forces (RSF) member guards a desert water station in North Darfur [Jérôme Tubiana/Al Jazeera]