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18 civilians killed in clashes in Sudan’s Darfur: Medics

May 21, 2023 at 3:06 pm

Clashes in Sudan’s western Darfur provinceon October 17, 2021 [ABDELMONIM MADIBU/AFP via Getty Images]

At least 18 civilians were killed in clashes between the Sudanese army and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) paramilitary group in the South Darfur region of western Sudan on Sunday, according to local medics, Anadolu reports.

In a statement, the Sudan Doctors Syndicate said two people were also injured in the violence that first broke out on Saturday in the provincial capital Nyala.

The NGO said the death toll could be higher amid heavy shelling across the city.

According to witnesses, several families have fled their homes to take refuge outside the city.

The violence came despite an agreement between the two military rivals for a seven-day cease-fire on Saturday following talks in Saudi Arabia.

At least 850 civilians have been killed and more than 3,300 injured in fighting between the army and the RSF since April 15, according to local medics.

After the first face-to-face talks in Saudi Arabia, the army and the RSF signed a declaration of commitment to protect civilians in Sudan on May 11. Despite the agreement, clashes continued between the two conflicting parties, particularly in the capital Khartoum.

A disagreement had been fomenting in recent months between the army and the RSF over the paramilitary group’s integration into the armed forces, a key condition of Sudan’s transition agreement with political groups.

Sudan has been without a functioning government since October 2021, when the military dismissed Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok’s transitional government and declared a state of emergency in a move decried by political forces as a “coup.”

Sudan’s transitional period, which started in August 2019 after the ouster of President Omar al-Bashir, had been scheduled to end with elections in early 2024.

READ: Sudan’s army, RSF agree to 7-day humanitarian truce, cease-fire