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Clashes renew in Sudanese capital despite cease-fire deal

May 28, 2023 at 2:40 pm

Smoke rises during clashes between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) in Khartoum, Sudan on May 05, 2023 [Ahmed Satti/Anadolu Agency]

Clashes renewed between the Sudanese army and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) paramilitary group in the capital Khartoum on Saturday despite a cease-fire agreement, reports Anadolu Agency.

A 7-day cease-fire came into force between the rivals on May 22 following talks between the two conflicting parties in Saudi Arabia.

On Friday, Saudi Arabia and the United States said they were witnessing improvement in the application of the ongoing 7-day cease-fire in Sudan.

But witnesses said fierce fighting erupted on Saturday between the army and RSF fighters Muqrin neighborhood, west of Khartoum.

The Muqrin neighborhood is located near two main bridges linking Khartoum to the twin city of Omdurman.

Sounds of explosions and flying jets were also heard in several areas in the capital. There were no reports of injuries.

Meanwhile, the Sudanese police called on retired policemen and “those who are able to bear arms to report to the local police in order to join the force.”

READ: Sudan army calls for veterans to take up arms

The call came one day after the Defense Ministry called on retired soldiers to re-enlist amid fighting with the paramilitary group.

At least 863 civilians have been killed and thousands injured in clashes between the Sudanese army and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) paramilitary group since April 15, according to local medics.

Disagreement had been fomenting in recent months between the Sudanese 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.