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Scale of destruction in Sudan revealed by satellite images before and after conflict

Satellite images analysed by Sky News show the extent of destruction in the city of El Geneina, Sudan.

Images before and after show the destruction of large areas in the city due to fighting between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces paramilitary and other armed group.

In Sudan , violent clashes broke out earlier this year after a fragile truce was broken between the RSF and the Armed Forces.

Although the groups worked together in 2019 to remove Sudan’s former president Omar al-Bashir, there are long-standing disagreements about how the country should run.


The tensions reached a boiling point when there was disagreement between the groups about when and how the RSF would be officially incorporated into the military.

Since the violence escalated the country is in crisis, forcing Western countries, such as the UK to act and evacuate thousands of its citizens.

Thousands of people have crossed borders to neighbouring countries.

For many, there is no escape.

Sky News has now uncovered evidence that shows just how destructive this crisis has been in the field.

Click here to read more

What is happening in Sudan

Husband reunited after fleeing with pregnant wife

People trapped in a war-torned country

The landscape in El Geneina has literally changed.

Satellite images from 18 May show that the grounds of an elementary school and secondary schools in the city are completely destroyed. The image taken before is from 15 January.

In the middle of these images, you can see dark scars.

Use the sliders to compare satellite images of the city (left) before and after the conflict began

A library and another school campus have been destroyed.

Fires are likely to be responsible for the damage, which spreads over a wide area of more than 500m.

The map has been cleared of trees, greenery, and clusters.

Damage to a number of government buildings including the Education Ministry can be seen.

Six buildings and their grounds were destroyed – as can be seen in the upper left corner of the images below.

Images from the ground show smashed stalls, looted buildings and what was once the market of the city.

Satellites show a blackened void in the place of once-crowded stalls.

The fighting in El Geneina caused hundreds of deaths as well as physical destruction.

According to the Sudanese Doctors Union, over a two-day period last week, there were 280 deaths in the city and 169 injuries.

The recent increase in violence comes after 150 people died in late April.

Since the start of the conflict, homes and businesses in the entire city have been looted.

Targets included private homes, shops and pharmacies as well as several NGOs as well as the Ministry of Health’s premises and the Market.

Tens of thousands have fled across the border into Chad due to fighting in West Darfur.

According to the United Nations Refugee Agency, 60,000 refugees from all over the world have crossed since conflict began.


Data and Forensics

team is a multi-skilled unit dedicated to providing transparent journalism from Sky News. We gather, analyse and visualise data to tell data-driven stories. We combine traditional reporting skills with advanced analysis of satellite images, social media and other open source information. Through multimedia storytelling we aim to better explain the world while also showing how our journalism is done.

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