‘The real hell’: Deadly fighting escalates in Sudan as truce ends | conflict news
Activists and residents said that the outbreak of new violence in North Darfur state left at least 40 people dead.
Fighting intensified in Khartoum after a The cease-fire agreement has ended And a new wave of violence erupted in the troubled Darfur region of Sudan, where dozens were reportedly killed in what was described as “total lawlessness”.
Live television footage showed black smoke billowing over the capital on Sunday after the truce between the Sudanese army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces ended hours earlier.
“In the south of Khartoum we live in terror from the heavy shelling, the sounds of anti-aircraft guns and the power outages,” Sarah Hassan, 34, said by phone. “We are in real hell.”
The fighting in the capital has led to widespread damage and looting, a collapse in health services, power and water cuts, and dwindling food supplies.
The RSF claimed to have shot down a fighter jet after the army “launched a daring air attack on our forces’ positions” in north Khartoum.
A military source said that a Chinese-made plane crashed near the Wadi Sidna base, north of Khartoum, due to a “technical failure.”
Eyewitnesses said that they saw a plane heading from the south of the capital to the north, catching fire. Others reported airstrikes on Rapid Support Forces positions in the east of the city, with some civilian casualties.
Other areas where fighting has been reported include central and southern Khartoum and Bahri across the Blue Nile to the north.
A cease-fire, brokered by Saudi Arabia and the United States, has calmed street battles slightly and allowed limited access for humanitarian aid, but like previous truces it has been repeatedly violated. On Friday, talks on extending the ceasefire collapsed.
That deadly power struggle It broke out in Sudan on April 15th It caused a major humanitarian crisis, with more than 1.2 million people displaced within the country and another 400,000 fleeing to neighboring countries.
It also threatens to destabilize the region as a whole.
“totally out of control”
Outside the capital, deadly fighting has also broken out in Sudan’s far western region of Darfur, which is already grappling with protracted unrest and huge humanitarian challenges.
Witnesses stated that heavy fighting on Friday and Saturday left Kutum, one of the main towns and commercial center in North Darfur, in chaos.
The Darfur Bar Association, which monitors rights in the region, said at least 40 people were killed and dozens wounded, including residents of Kassab camp, which houses people displaced by the previous unrest.
The army denied allegations that the RSF, which originated from Darfur militias and has its power base in the region, had captured Kutum.
Darfur’s governor, Minni Minawi – a former rebel leader now close to the army – denounced on Twitter the “looting” by armed groups, declared Darfur a “disaster zone”, and appealed to the international community for help.
The governor of West Darfur state, Khamis Abkar, said on Sunday that there was “total chaos” in his state. “Armed men have taken over everything, and the situation is completely out of control,” he said.
Saudi Arabia and the United States said they continue to communicate on a daily basis with delegations from the military and the Rapid Support Forces, which have remained in Jeddah despite the suspension of talks on extending the ceasefire last week.
“These discussions focus on facilitating humanitarian assistance and reaching agreement on short-term steps that the parties must take before resuming the Jeddah talks,” the two countries said in a statement.
RSF leader Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, better known as Hemedti, said in a Facebook post that he had spoken by phone to the Saudi foreign minister to discuss mediation efforts in Jeddah.
It was not clear where Hemedti was, although he appeared in a video clip with his forces in central Khartoum earlier during the fighting.