Scenes of Sudan's gutted capital Khartoum
Sudan's capital has suffered catastrophic economic damage
Khartoum was once one of the largest cities in Africa, a jewel upon the Nile—capital of a troubled yet beautiful country. Today large parts of the city are abandoned, its prominent landmarks are looted or gutted by fire, and its once bustling streets are littered with trash, bullet casings, and fresh graves.
Most of the city is in the hands of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), an ethnic militia formerly allied with the government. The RSF rebelled last year, seeking to topple the country’s ruling military junta, comprised of generals of the now deposed dictator Omar al-Bashir. For nine months, both sides have falsely told their supporters that “victory is near.” But the war shows no signs of ending any time soon, peace talks have collapsed, and fighting is spreading to new areas.
Since its independence in 1956, Sudan has known decades of war. But its past conflicts were in the country’s rural peripheries—not in the urban heartland along the Nile Valley. This war surpasses all of the past wars in terms of its economic costs, due to the massive destruction of homes, businesses, and government institutions. The war’s economic toll threatens to plunge Sudan into a state of long-term poverty that could last for generations, while also indirectly threatening the development and stability of neighboring states, particularly South Sudan and Chad.
Here are some scenes of the devastation in Khartoum.
To receive updates about the conflict in Sudan, subscribe to our newsletter:
Khartoum International Airport
Afra Shopping Mall
Headquarters of the Greater Nile Petroleum Operating Company (GNPOC), possibly damaged by shelling, September 17, 2023.
Filmed on June 3, 2023, this video shows damage to the Popular Market in south-central Khartoum (~15.5600, 32.5315). The cameraman, an RSF member, blames the fire on Sudanese aircraft, but it could have been caused by shelling, or as a result of electrical accidents, following massive looting in the early weeks of the war.
Coca-Cola factory, Khartoum Bahri
Located in the Khartoum North Light Industrial Area, this factory is among many industrial and warehouse buildings destroyed. Most of the damage is due to mortar and artillery fire, and airstrikes.
Adiyat Distribution Company - Food Stores, Khartoum Bahri
Both commercial and humanitarian food stores have been looted or burned. This fire took place in Khartoum Bahri in April 2023.
Al Salam Rotana Hotel
Damage to vehicles in the parking lot and the building exterior, July 2023
Al-Tadamon Islamic Bank
⚠️ Viewer discretion advised (graphic: decomposed bodies)
Sudan Standards and Metrology Organization
Armed Forces headquarters
The Sudan Armed Forces still control their headquarters, but the main buildings are all damaged or destroyed, as shown in this infographic.
In addition to these main buildings, smaller buildings around the complex have been damaged or destroyed, as well as the neighboring national security headquarters.
National Intelligence and Security Service Headquarters
Viewer discretion advised: active combat (the building is visible in background at 1:06)
Ministry of Justice
Burned during an offensive by the RSF on September 16, 2023.
Central Bureau of Statistics
Jet fuel depots, Khartoum International Airport
Abandoned streets and businesses, and many wrecked cars, in the once bustling central neighborhood of Khartoum 2, filmed in July 2023.
Homes and apartment buildings in many parts of Khartoum have been damaged by gunfire, airstrikes, mortars, and artillery. Here are a few examples of many.
This video shows an angry man and his father whose home was destroyed by an airstrike in Al Jereif, southeast Khartoum.
Filmed near the Goethe-Institut, facing east from RSF controlled territory toward SAF-controlled territory in the former civic heart of downtown Khartoum, September 2023.
Located northeast of Khartoum, the Jaili refinery is the country’s critical source of petrol. Occupied by the RSF since the start of the war, the refinery has suffered numerous fires possibly as a result of airstrikes or accidents.
Al-Shajara Fuel Depots
Filmed by RSF fighters on June 7 from inside the Yarmuk military industrial complex, this video shows fires at nearby fuel depots damaged in fighting the day before.
Church of the Savior, Omdurman
Destroyed by shelling, November 1, 2023.
Asia Hospital, Omdurman
Support our journalism
Our monitoring and analysis is made possible by the generous support of paying subscribers, donors, and volunteers. Please consider signing up for a paid subscription so that we can sustain our mission and continuously improve the quality of our reporting. If you’re unable to help financially, you can still help us by recommending Sudan War Monitor to a friend, family member, or colleague. Thanks!