Dozens of civilians were killed in the fighting between Sudan’s army and RSF
Stimulated fighting in Sudan: High-level military commanders and diplomats warned against returning to the civilian matter in the coming parliamentary term
An army official told Al Jazeera that the RSF had attacked its forces, and were trying to take over the military headquarters. The RSF said in a statement that the army had started the conflict, attacking its base in the south of Khartoum.
Videos posted on social media appeared to show the unfolding conflict, capturing air force jets patrolling the skies, soldiers firing in streets of the capital, armored vehicles speeding through residential streets and civilians running and taking shelter. Doctors told Reuters that at least three civilians have been killed in the fighting.
“Escalation of tensions within the military component to direct fighting is extremely dangerous. I urgently call on senior military leaders to stop the fighting,” he said.
In December, the army agreed to hand power back to a civilian-led government this month, but the plan has been held back by tensions between the army and RSF over who should lead and become de facto head of state prior to elections.
The situation in Sudan between the country’s military and the paramilitary group the Rapid Support Forces has caused concern and diplomats urged citizens to stay indoors.
There are ongoing military clashes in several parts of Sudan, the British Embassy in Sudan said in a statement. “We advise all British Nationals in Sudan to remain indoors and follow our travel advice for more updates.”
Ambassador John had just arrived in Sudan and was woken up by the sounds of gunfire and fighting. He urged all senior military leaders to stop the fighting.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Saturday that the situation in Khartoum is “fragile” when asked by a reporter to comment during a presser in Vietnam.
Sudans Army and RSF Are Doing Battle Leaving 56 Civilians Dead, Capturing a Crisis in the First Battle of the Cold War
CNN’s Michael Callahan, Xiaofei Xu, Sophie Jeong, Lauren Kent, Duarte Mendonca, Salma Abdelaziz, Manveena Suri and Mariya Knight contributed to this post.
A doctors’ group said at least 56 civilians were killed and that it believed there were dozens of additional deaths among the rival forces. The doctors’ syndicate says that close to 600 people have been wounded.
The clashes capped months of heightened tensions between the military and its partner-turned-rival, the Rapid Support Forces 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.
“The battles have not stopped,” she said from her family home close to the military headquarters. “They are shooting against each other in the streets. It’s an all-out war in residential areas.”
Abass said her family took a night nap on the ground floor. “No one was able to sleep and the kids were crying and screaming with every explosion,” she said. Sounds of gunfire were heard while she was speaking to The Associated Press.
Sudans Army and the RSF Are Doing Battle Leaving 56-Circularians Dead: A Brief Press Conference in Khartoum, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates
The military and the RSF both claimed to be in control of strategic locations in Khartoum and elsewhere in the county. They couldn’t independently verify their claims.
The military, headed by Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan, called for the dismantling of the RSF. The head of the RSF, Gen. Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo, told the satellite news network Al Arabyia that he ruled out negotiations. The man called for Burhan to surrender.
Top diplomats, including the U.S. Secretary of State, the U.N. secretary-general, the EU foreign policy chief, the head of the Arab League and the head of the African Union Commission urged the sides to stop fighting. Members of the U.N. Security Council, at odds over other crises around the world, called for an immediate end of the hostilities and a return to dialogue.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he consulted with the foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. “We agreed it was essential for the parties to immediately end hostilities without pre-condition,” he said in a statement early Sunday.
Birhan-Dagalo, the Rassafistan Front, and the Security Defence Force in Khartoum: Observations from the Sudanese Embassy
Pro-democracy activists have blamed Burhan and Dagalo for abuses against protesters across the county over the past four years, including the deadly break-up of a protest camp outside the military’s headquarters in Khartoum in June 2019 that killed over 120 protesters. Many groups have repeatedly called for holding them accountable. The RSF has been accused of being involved in atrocities during the conflict.