Conflicts & War

Heavy fighting, shelling on first day of Sudan week-long truce

Khartoum, May 4 (EFE).- The Sudanese army said Thursday that its units faced off against a rival paramilitary group in Khartoum on the first day of a one-week truce negotiated by South Sudan, the longest since the conflict began in the country last month.

The armed forces said in a statement that they had clashed with the Rapid Support Forces in the capital, an ongoing occurrence since Apr. 15.

“Our forces clashed (Thursday) at dawn with rebels who tried to attack the command of the North Khartoum Military Region,” they said in a statement, adding that there were deaths and injuries in the ranks of the paramilitaries, without giving further details.

Faced with these attacks, the army told citizens of the capital to stay “away from places of confrontation.”

Residents of Khartoum told EFE that this is the “most intense fighting” since hostilities began, hearing loud explosions at the Palace of the Republic and the Army General Command, in the center of Khartoum, as well as fighting in the streets in the military area of North Khartoum.

The paramilitaries said in a statement that the army violated the humanitarian truce by attacking their “units and residential neighborhoods with indiscriminate artillery and aviation bombardments.”

“The Rapid Support Forces condemn the irresponsible actions of the leaders of the coup forces and the extremist remnants of the defunct regime by violating the declared humanitarian truce and attacking our forces since dawn this Thursday in several of their locations,” the paramilitaries said in a note published on their official Twitter account.

These new combats and bombardments take place just a few hours after what is the longest humanitarian pause agreed by both parties – announced two days ago by South Sudan, the main mediator in this conflict – went into effect.

The purpose of this truce is to allow aid to enter Sudan, which is experiencing a humanitarian catastrophe according to the UN, and the flight of foreigners and citizens who are still caught in the crossfire.

The South Sudanese government said the two leaders in conflict, Abdelfatah al Burhan – leader of the Army – and Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo alias “Hemedti” – commander of the FAR – should take advantage of this week to appoint the spokesmen for their delegations for agreed negotiations of peace.

According to the United Nations, some 100,000 people have already crossed into other neighboring countries driven by the conflict, which has left at least 550 people, Chad and Egypt being the nations that are receiving the most Sudanese. EFE


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