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Sudan: Battles continue in Khartoum despite ceasefire

May 23, 2023 at 11:40 am

Smoke billows in the distance in Khartoum on May 22, 2023, as fighting between two rival generals persists [AFP via Getty Images]

There were sounds of battles and air raids at dawn today in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, despite a new ceasefire agreement which came into effect in hopes that it would allow citizens to leave the area and humanitarian aid to enter.

The truce, which entered into force last night, is scheduled to last a week, but it witnessed a shaky start, as witnesses in the capital, Khartoum, reported the flight of fighter jets over the city, and the continuation of confrontations in some areas.

Eyewitnesses said that heavy shelling could be heard in eastern Khartoum and gunfire in Omdurman and Bahri.

After five weeks of fierce battles between the army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), the two sides agreed to a seven-day truce, which began at 9:45 pm local time (19:45 GMT) yesterday, with the aim of making way for aid deliveries. However, it seems that it could suffer the same fate as previous truces.

Monday witnessed continuous fighting for the 37th consecutive day, prompting the nearly five million residents of Khartoum to stay in their homes, amid intense fighting, with most of them deprived of water, electricity and means of communication.

READ: 85,000 people forced into secondary displacement in Geneina, Sudan

Eyewitnesses confirmed that “clashes took place in the Kadro area, north of Khartoum North,” as well as fighting taking place between the two parties in Al-Ghaba Street in central Khartoum.

Since 15 April, Sudan has been witnessing a conflict between the army, led by Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, and the RSF, led by Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, known as Hemedti.

Daglo posted a recording on Twitter yesterday, in which he accused “the defunct regime, along with the coup leaders, of planning to block the path to democratic transition.”

The commander of the Rapid Support Forces affirmed respect for all international laws and human rights, calling on the Sudanese not to respond to the mobilisation of extremists and terrorists.