Report of crossfire between Sudan’s army and paramilitary groups after a UN-broken humanitarian ceasefire: The regime is running out
The intense fighting continued for a third day, as residents of Sudan’s capital Khartoum woke up to the sounds of shelling and bombardment by war planes.
Clashes first erupted Saturday between the country’s military and the paramilitary group Rapid Support Forces (RSF), led by Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, also known as Hemedti, who told CNN on Sunday the army had broken a UN-brokered temporary humanitarian ceasefire.
CNN was told by people in the neighborhoods east of the airport that they saw warplanes bombing sites. “We saw explosions and smoke rising from Obaid Khatim Street, and immediately after that, anti-aircraft artillery fired massively towards the planes,” one eyewitness said.
45 million Sudanese are held hostage and unable to leave their homes because of the fear of being killed in the crossfire. The World Food Programme has three workers who have died in the fighting.
“The hospital is rapidly running out of medical supplies to treat survivors,” Mr. Paye said. “It is running out of medicines and blood. Fuel supplies for the hospital generator are low and there is a power outage in the city since the beginning of the fighting.
The Sudanese Revolution: Dagalo, his ally, and the U.N. mission in a country without a civilian government
He speculated that the army chief and his rival, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, had lost control of the military. When asked if his endgame was to rule Sudan, Dagalo said he had “no such intentions,” and that there should be a civilian government.
People were warned to stay indoors during the fighting. One local resident tweeted that they were “trapped inside our own homes with little to no protection at all.”
“All we can hear is continuous blast after blast. It feels like it is over our heads because we do not know what is happening.
Access to information is also limited, with the government-owned national TV channel now off the air. Television employees told CNN that it is in the hands of the RSF.
The turn of events has worsened a crisis in a nation where one-third of its 45 million people were already in need of food aid. Now, the violence has forced aid groups to suspend operations. The UN World Food Program says three of their workers are dead.
The U.N. envoy to Sudan said on Monday that warehouses and guesthouses of agencies had been burned down as well as the World Food Program.
Sudan’s crisis after the April 2019 revolt: State of affairs in a country with an unstable future, a proposal by the UN and the United States
Meanwhile, Mexico is working to evacuate its citizens from Sudan, with the country’s foreign minister saying Sunday it is looking to “expedite” their exit.
The US embassy in Sudan said on Sunday there were no plans to evacuate Americans at this moment due to the closing of the Khartoum airport. It advised US citizens to stay indoors and shelter in place, adding that it would make an announcement “if evacuation of private US citizens becomes necessary.”
The fresh clashes have prompted widespread calls for peace and negotiations. The head of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki, is scheduled to arrive in Khartoum on Monday, in an attempt to stop the fighting.
Four years ago, almost to the day, the people of Sudan were celebrating a revolution after overthrowing longtime dictator Omar al-Bashir. Now the East African country faces the possibility of a complete collapse similar to the chaos we see today in Yemen or Libya.
There is no details on what the proposal means, but the UN political mission in Sudan said that the country’s warring groups had agreed to a proposal.
Civilian leaders entered into a negotiation with the military over the future of the country shortly after Bashir fell in April 2019. The two sides weren’t evenly matched. Because of these leadership challenges, the pro-democracy forces struggled to bargain with the disciplined military.
The points of contention were the merger timelines, status of RSF officers in the future hierarchy, and whether RSF forces should be under the command of the army chief, rather than Sudan.
The Central Committee for Sudanese Doctors said that more than a dozen hospitals had been forced to close. “Hospitals in Sudan are under bombardment,” the group said.
The fighting began on Saturday, when forces loyal to Lt. Gen. Mohamed Hamdan, the head of the paramilitary group called the Rapid Support Forces, began clashing with forces loyal to the Sudanese army chief, Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan.
What happened in the Intensive Care Unit of an Elarmed Medical Center: Children were killed in shelling by a paramilitary force
Witnesses have little doubt about what happened at Al-Moallem hospital, where intense shelling forced staffers to evacuate, leaving some patients behind.
The morning started with shelling at the overwhelmed medical center. Then, members of a paramilitary force barged inside, ordered newborns and other patients to be evacuated, and began taking up positions, one doctor said.
Children are among those killed; a 6-year-old child died on Monday after the RSF shelled a hospital in Khartoum and damaged a maternity ward. The Medics were forced to leave the patients behind.
At first we were praying for salvation,” the medic said. It became clear that the most painless part of the body to be shot in would be the brain, so we began to pray instead to die painlessly.
The medic said that they left the hospital and didn’t have medical personnel to care for the children in the intensive care unit. “The smell of death was everywhere.”
“Food in the fridge and freezers have gone bad,” Eman Abu Garjah, a Sudanese-British doctor based in Khartoum, told CNN. “We don’t have any supplies at the moment, that’s why we’re trying to go somewhere where the shops are open.”
“It’s Ramadan, we’re up for early morning prayers and after that usually you have a little bit of a siesta and wake up again for the afternoon prayers. It wasn’t possible to sleep. The house was rattling and the windows were shaking.”
CNN learns of Sudan armed forces warping in Sudan: COMMANDER, RSF, and pro-democracy
Burhan claimed that there had been violations of the ceasefire for the second day when CNN spoke to him on Monday.
“Yesterday and today a humanitarian ceasefire proposal was put forward and agreed upon,” said Burhan from army headquarters, as gunshots rang out in the background.
“Sadly, he did not abide by (the ceasefire),” he added. There are attempts to storm the Army headquarters and indiscriminate mortar attacks. A humanitarian pause is being used to continue the fight.
“We’re under attack from all directions,” Dagalo told CNN’s Larry Madowo in a telephone interview on Sunday. He claimed that the other side stopped fighting and that put them in a situation of having to defend themselves.
During Sudan’s Darfur conflict, starting in the early 2000s, he was the leader of Sudan’s notorious Janjaweed forces, implicated in human rights violations and atrocities.
In 2007, its troops became part of the country’s intelligence services and, in 2013, Bashir created the RSF, a paramilitary group overseen by him and led by Dagalo. COMMANDER was turned against by GADDOLO in 2019.
Months before the coup that unseated Bashir in April 2019, Dagalo’s forces opened fire on an anti-Bashir, pro-democracy sit-in in Khartoum, killing at least 118 people.
The diplomat said it was a gross violation of the Vienna Convention. “Security of diplomatic premises and staff is a primary responsibility of Sudanese authorities and an obligation under international law.”
On Saturday, rival military factions began fighting each other in the capital of Khartoum. The two sides were fighting for control of airports, bases and military compounds. The violence spilled into the streets.
“The hospital turned into a battlefield,” said the doctor, Musab Khojali, an emergency room physician at the Police Hospital in Burri, northeast of the capital, Khartoum.
The humanitarian crisis in Sudan, as seen by the U.N. secretary of state, António Guterres, and the European Union ambassador
Although leaders around the world called for a cease-fire, it was not clear who control Sudan, the third-largest country in Africa.
Aid workers say that the toll on civilians has been most noticeable in Khartoum, and that they are worried about the situation outside the capital.
“Everyone is afraid,” said Ahmed Abuhurira, a 28-year-old mechanical engineer who went out to try to charge his cellphone. You can see it in their eyes. People are panicking.”
Only the army has aircraft, and on Monday, General Hamdan accused his rival of “bombing civilians from the air.” The Sudan Army said in a statement that it was following the rules of war and humanitarian law.
António Guterres, the U.N. secretary general, said he had spoken with both warring generals and expressed deep concern. “The humanitarian situation in Sudan was already precarious and is now catastrophic,” he said.
The American secretary of state called for an immediate cease-fire, and called for General al-Burhan to ensure the protection of civilians and third country personnel in Sudan.
They had made it clear that they had no intention of ending the fighting, Mr. Perthes said, as he was talking to the leaders of both military factions daily. They are, however, receptive to the idea of a “pause” to allow humanitarian access, he said.
He said that people across Sudan have been gripped by fear, not knowing if it is safe to leave their homes and now having to make a choice between facing that fear and starving to death.
Many children are among the people who have been wounded in the crossfire in North Darfur, according to a statement by Cyrus Paye of Doctors Without Borders.
The European Union ambassador to Sudan was also assaulted in his residency on Monday, though he is now doing fine, according to a spokesperson for the EU’s top diplomat.
Instability of the airport in Sudan after the Sudan-Suddeev-Rapid Support Forces attack on Monday
The Rapid Support Forces paramilitary groups were behind the attack, several officials said, speaking on the condition of anonymity for security reasons.
The U.N. spokesman, Stéphane Dujarric. said that gunmen were forcing staff members out of their apartments in Khartoum and then operating out of them.
With concern growing that the conflict may entangle other nations, observers were paying close attention to Egypt, which has enmeshed itself deeply into the affairs of its neighbor.
However, once a dictator is overthrown, these kinds of social movements often struggle to build the leadership hierarchy necessary during political negotiations that take place. Sudan’s protesters were not able to translate their fervor into political power.
Egyptian officials see a strongman as the best way of keeping its neighbor stable — and off a democratic path that could inspire Egyptians — and they have embraced General al-Burhan as an ally, especially after one Rapid Support Forces faction captured Egyptian soldiers and seven Egyptian warplanes over the weekend.
The fighting has made transit in and out of the country difficult. At the main airport in Khartoum, airplanes were targeted again on Monday as the rival military factions fought for control over critical infrastructure.
The New York Times has identified 20 planes that have been destroyed or damaged at the airport since the conflict erupted.
Born and Born: A Moment of Promise and Hope for Democracy During a War of Demonstration: The Case of Omdurman
The residents of Omdurman said that the situation in the city was quiet with many people leaving their homes and traffic slowly moving in some shopping areas. Many households, however, still lacked water or electricity.
In the capital, many residents found it safest to stay home. Mr. Abuhurira said he spent just half an hour on the street and had no one to see him.
Some activists stopped partnering with the US and came to see the UN mission as a roadblock to democracy because of these policies. I felt sorry when I spoke to diplomats who understood that the international policy in Sudan wouldn’t work. They saw the flaws but felt powerless to dissent and were forced to carry out decisions made many levels above them.
It was a moment of promise because there was hope for democracy. The’sit-in’ in the middle of Khartoum was a giant carnival of freedom that protesters had blockaded to demand change. It was electric.
But social movements such as the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA) — the union behind the protest — often struggle to translate the momentum of their demonstrations into real political power.
Structural is one of the reasons for this. There are a lot of social movements that are based on grassroots activism. dictators can only arrest a few leaders of an organization but not the entire country
Any momentum that pro-democracy advocates had during the negotiations was stamped out in June 2019 when RSF soldiers violently dispersed the sit-in. A number of people were killed.
After the June massacre and the leadership challenges, a transitional constitution was signed in August 2019 that gave the SAF and RSF most of the power in Sudan. Burhan was the head of state, while Hemeti was placed in a political position. Few people thought the elections would happen in 2022, they were promised.
Hamdok often told me that revolutions come in cycles. He saw his job as being accomplished before the low tide of counter-revolution swept him away, because the removal of Bashir was a high point of revolution.
Reaction against war crimes: the case of Sudanese soldiers in a conflict between the Syrian army and the RSF-aligned forces
Soldiers did not hide the atrocities they committed against civilians. I remember drinking tea with a soldier from the RSF who explained to me that he participated in burning down the village from another ethnic group because he felt that he had been treated unfairly.
The soldier reasoned that a member of his tribe had been killed in an altercation, so the RSF-aligned forces took revenge by torching a village that had been home to 30,000 people. At least 163 people died.
The plan to unify the military hadn’t worked in similar contexts. It was a repeat of the 2013 and 2016 unification processes that took place in South Sudan with similarly bloody results. Instead, the tenuous relationship between Burhan and Hemeti boiled over due to the pressure.
I and others argued that restarting the transitional period wouldn’t work because it was shortsighted. Burhan’s return to a government was not going to change anything. If the plan ended in a coup the first time, why would it work the second time?
It can be easy to look at the recent history of “revolutions” in countries such as Myanmar, Tunisia, Egypt and Sudan and conclude that they eventually backfire. I do not agree. I learned from Sudanese activists that a nation’s political fortune is an active battle.
The University of Khartoum in a bloody battle: the troops, the army, and the Sudan’s supreme security force
For more than three days, students at the University of Khartoum have been trapped inside campus buildings as artillery and gunfire rain down around them in Sudan’s capital.
The university area was a hub for the fighting because of its proximity to the general command of the army, with buildings being destroyed and warplanes flying overhead.
There are 89 students, faculty members and staff inside a university library and they are worried about the country becoming a battlefield.
One student has already been killed by gunfire outside and leaving is not an option since food and water are running low. Khalid Abdulmun’em tried to run from a nearby building to the library when he was hit.
The university confirmed Abdulmun’em’s death in a Facebook post, saying he had been shot in the campus’ surroundings. On Monday, the university urged humanitarian organizations to help evacuated people on the campus.
Khartoum has been engulfed in chaos in a bloody power struggle between the military leader and the head of theRSF.
“Yesterday, we had an American diplomatic convoy that was fired on. All of our people are safe, but this action was reckless and irresponsible, and so it was unsafe, said a press conference on Tuesday.
The RSF accused the army of conducting airstrikes on residential neighborhoods and of attacking the EU ambassador’s headquarters in Khartoum; meanwhile, the army accused the RSF of targeting the ambassador’s residency, and of targeting the WFP’s headquarters in Darfur.
In his own statement, he stated that the RSF would like to continue dialogue. Burhan’s office also confirmed he had spoken with Blinken about the critical situation in Sudan.
UN Secretary General’s Special Representative for Sudan: “End the hostilities immediately” and “Fifteen days of negotiation” in G7 nations
The foreign ministers of G7 nations, comprised of some of the world’s largest economies, urged the factions to “end hostilities immediately” in their joint statement from Japan on Tuesday.
The UN Secretary General’s Special Representative for Sudan said on Monday that the organization has been trying to convince the two warring parties to stop fighting and allow for a period of time when they can work out a peace deal.