Fierce fighting erupts in the capital, Khartoum, and elsewhere in Sudan, dealing a new blow to hopes for the country’s transition to democracy.
Sudan’s military and a powerful paramilitary force have engaged in fierce fighting in the capital and elsewhere in country, dealing a new blow to hopes for a transition to democracy and raising fears of a wider conflict.
At least 25 people were killed and 183 others were injured in clashes across the country on Saturday, the Sudanese Doctors’ Union told the Reuters news agency. The group was unable to determine if all the casualities were civilians.
The clashes capped months of heightened tensions between Sudan’s army and the Rapid Support Forces paramilitary group. Those tensions had delayed a deal with political parties to get the country back to its short-lived transition to democracy, which was derailed by an October 2021 military coup.
After a day of heavy fighting, the military ruled out negotiations with the RSF, instead calling for the dismantling of what it called a “rebellious militia”.
The sound of heavy firing could be heard throughout Saturday across the capital, Khartoum, and nearby city Omdurman, where the military and the RSF have amassed tens of thousands of troops since the coup.
Witnesses said fighters from both sides fired from armoured vehicles and from machine guns mounted on pick-up trucks in fighting in densely populated areas. Some tanks were seen in Khartoum. The military said it launched attacks from planes and drones at RSF positions in and around the capital.
Residents described chaotic scenes. “Fire and explosions are everywhere,” said Amal Mohamed, a doctor in a public hospital in Omdurman. “All are running and seeking shelter.”
“We haven’t seen such battles in Khartoum before,” said Khartoum resident Abdel-Hamid Mustafa.
Clashes intensify for control of airports
One of the flashpoints was Khartoum International Airport. There was no formal announcement that the airport was closed, but major airlines suspended their flights.
This included Sudan-bound flights from Egypt and Saudi Arabia which turned back after nearly landing at the airport, flight tracking data showed..
World Opinions – Agencies