In Sudan, where two generals have been clashing for nine months, the fighting has spread to sites classified as UNESCO world heritage sites, reports an NGO on Tuesday January 16, sounding the alarm for the remains of the old Kush kingdom over 2,000 years old.

The Regional Network for Cultural Rights said in a statement “strongly condemns the incursion of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF)”, the feared paramilitaries of General Mohammed Hamdan Daglo, at war against the army of General Abdel Fattah Al-Bourhane since April 15, 2023, “at the sites of Naqa and Musawwarat es-Sufra.” This “second incursion” took place on Sunday, says the NGO, after “a first on December 3, 2023” on these religious sites located in Nile State, in the north of the country.

The Nile State authorities also reported “an RSF incursion repelled by the air force”, affirming that “calm has returned”, but without reporting any potential damage. The Regional Network for Cultural Rights says it has consulted “reliable sources, images and videos posted on social media, showing fighting between the army and the RSF which likely exposed the sites to vandalism, destruction, to looting and theft.”

According to UNESCO, “the archaeological sites of the island of Meroe, a semi-desert landscape between the Nile and the Atbara, seat of the sovereigns who occupied Egypt for nearly a century, contain pyramids, temples and residential buildings, as well as major water management facilities.”

The ancient civilizations of Sudan erected more pyramids than those of Egypt but remain largely unknown. The island of Meroe, 220 km north of Khartoum, is classified as a world heritage site and was the subject of an exhibition at the Louvre in 2010. This civilization (from the 3rd century BC in the 4th century AD) had borrowed cultural traits from Pharaonic Egypt, Greece and then Rome, adding to an African substrate.

Since April 15, 2023, the war between the army and the FSR has left more than 13,000 dead, according to a very underestimated report from the NGO Armed Conflict Location