Battles in Sudan-Despite rising diplomatic pressure to end hostilities, the Sudanese military and a strong paramilitary organisation engaged in combat for a second day on Sunday for control of the lawless country.
Sunday saw fierce battle with warplanes, trucks with machine guns mounted on them, and armoured vehicles in the nation’s capital Khartoum, the nearby city of Omdurman, and other flashpoints. Tens of thousands of soldiers from each of the opposing factions are thought to be present in the city alone.
Three United Nations food agency personnel were among the reported 56 dead civilians. The Sudan Doctors’ Syndicate reported that it thought there were numerous other fatalities among the opposing forces. It stated that both civilians and combatants, numbering close to 600, had been hurt.
The clashes are a result of a power struggle between Gen. Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo, leader of the Rapid Support Forces unit, and Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan, chief of the armed forces. The two generals were once close friends and jointly planned the military coup that overthrew Sudan’s ill-fated democratic transition in October 2021.
Hopes for an orderly transition to democracy have recently been renewed by negotiations endorsed by the international community. A settlement with political groups, however, was finally postponed by escalating hostilities between Burhan and Dagalo.
Fighting was reportedly occurring near the military headquarters, Khartoum International Airport, and state television headquarters in Khartoum and Omdurman. RSF fighters and soldiers engaged in combat early on Sunday at military headquarters, according to a senior military officer, and a ground unit installation caught fire.
Tahani Abass, a well-known rights activist who lives close to the military headquarters, declared that “the battles have not stopped.” In the streets, they are exchanging gunfire. Residential neighbourhoods are experiencing a full-scale conflict.
Abass claimed that her family slept on the first level of their house. Every time there was an explosion, she added, “no one could sleep and the kids were screaming and crying.” While she was speaking to The Associated Press, shooting could be heard.
Both the military and the RSF asserted control over key locations in Khartoum and throughout the country. Their claims were not independently corroborated.
Late on Saturday, both sides made it clear that they were not interested in talking.
Burhan’s military demanded that the RSF be destroyed since it was a “rebellious militia.” Dagalo called for Burhan to submit and said he would not engage in negotiations, according to the satellite news network Al Arabyia.
Diplomatic pressure appeared to be increasing in the meanwhile.
Leading officials from the United States, the United Nations, the European Union, the Arab League, and the African Union Commission all pleaded with the sides to put an end to their hostilities. Conflicting over other global problems, members of the U.N. Security Council demanded an immediate cessation of hostilities and the resumption of negotiations.
Qatar, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates—Arab nations with interests in Sudan—made such pleas.