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Damage to UNICEF Warehouse in Soba, Khartoum

Updated: Feb 20

Image credit: X @RSFSudan

لقراءة المقال بالعربية

Damage to UNICEF Soba_أضرار مستودع يونيسف (2)
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UNICEF Warehouse, Soba, Khartoum

Figure 1: Location of UNICEF Warehouse, Soba, Khartoum

Summary:

  • Sudan Witness has verified an incident of damage to the UNICEF warehouse in Soba, Khartoum, 500m west of the US Embassy, between 9 and 10 January 2024. 

  • The RSF have accused the SAF of carrying out an airstrike on the UNICEF site, though Sudan Witness has not been able to verify this


Khartoum, the capital of and largest metropolitan area in Sudan, has been widely affected by fighting between the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) since April 2023. 


On 9 January 2024, the RSF’s official X account published a statement claiming the SAF had conducted an airstrike on United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) warehouses in Soba, south of Khartoum. On 12 January, the same X account posted a video showing damage to a UNICEF facility. The first few seconds of the footage, between 0:01 seconds and 0:16 seconds, shows that the building’s walls have been damaged, with visible mounds of debris and active fires inside containers typically used to hold humanitarian aid. Sudan Witness geolocated the footage to the UNICEF facility in Soba (figure 2). The site is situated southeast from the city centre on Madani Street, approximately 500m west of the US Embassy for Sudan. 



Figure 2: Geolocation of the UNICEF warehouse in Soba, Khartoum [15.52383,32.604165]. Sources: Google Earth and X

Sudan Witness chronolocated the incident using NASA FIRMS data, which showed four heat signatures over the UNICEF Warehouse in Khartoum on 9 January, which are likely linked to the active fires seen in the footage of the damaged UNICEF buildings.


Figure 3: NASA FIRMS data showing four heat signatures over the UNICEF facility in Soba, Khartoum. Source: NASA FIRMS

Planet satellite imagery also confirmed that damage to the facility and its surroundings first appeared  between 9 and 10 January, showing dark patches on the ground around the western gate and to buildings within the site (figure 4). 


Figure 4: Planet satellite imagery showing damage to the front area of the UNICEF facility. Source: Planet

Sudan Witness has not verified that the damage to the UNICEF facility in Khartoum was caused by airstrikes, nor has it been able to confirm that the SAF was responsible, as per the RSF’s allegations. However Sudan Witness will continue to monitor for updates.


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