Violence flares up in embattled Khartoum despite ceasefire
Khartoum, Apr 30 (EFE).- Renewed air attacks pounded the embattled Sudanese capital Khartoum on Sunday, despite a three-day ceasefire extension between the country’s warring military factions.
Troops loyal to Sudan’s Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, have been fighting Rapid Support Forces (RSF) soldiers led by Mohammed Hamdan Daglo, known as Hemedti, since April 15.
According to Sudan’s health ministry at least 528 people have died so far and at least 4,599 have been injured since fierce fighting erupted in the capital.
Efe was able to confirm that Sudanese military fighter jets hovered over different areas in Khartoum including the districts of Shambat, Khartoum Bahri and Omdurman in the early hours of the day, acts to which RSF responded with anti-aircraft fire.
Thick columns of black smoke were seen rising amid sporadic clashes in downtown Khartoum, as witnesses claimed fire had broken out at the Sudanese central bank, adjacent to the army headquarters.
Sunday’s incidents came hours before the end of the latest truce, the fifth since fighting started. Both parties have violated the ceasefire that entered into force Thursday midnight.
The Sudanese army said it was “observing the enemy’s movements from the west toward the capital,” adding forces had destroyed RSF positions in several areas across Khartoum.
The RSF, meanwhile, accused the armed forces of violating the truce brokered by the United States.
“The coup leaders of the armed forces and the extremist remnants of the defunct regime continued to violate the declared humanitarian truce,” the paramilitary group said on Twitter.
The military “attacked the positions of our forces with cannons and jets in a number of areas in Khartoum, in addition to the indiscriminate shelling, all while the aircraft are still flying in the sky of Khartoum,” the statement added.
Tensions, however, have de-escalated compared to Saturday, when direct clashes took place in the south and north of Omdurman, near al-Halfaya Bridge.
No explosions or shelling were heard in residential neighborhoods in Khartoum on Sunday
The RSF reiterated their commitment to the ceasefire “to open safe paths and facilitate the evacuation of foreign nationals,” while the armed forces announced that foreign evacuations would continue at Wadi Seidna airbase north of Khartoum.
The army added that RSF units had “turned the East Nile hospital into military barracks full of weapons, as well as a command center for operations,” claims the paramilitary group has not responded to yet.
The first shipment of International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) humanitarian supplies and emergency personnel arrived in Sudan on Sunday.
The eight tons of humanitarian aid include medical and surgical materials intended for hospitals to be able to treat the wounded.
“Healthcare workers in Sudan have been doing the impossible, caring for the wounded without water, electricity, and basic medical supplies,” ICRC regional director for Africa Patrick Youssef said.
“The logistics needed to bring in supplies amid an active conflict are extremely difficult, and we’re relieved to get this medical material into the country,” he added.EFE