Sudan conflict shows no sign of easing, Sudanese brace for more violence | Inquirer News

Sudan conflict shows no sign of easing, Sudanese brace for more violence

/ 04:14 PM May 01, 2023

Sudan conflict shows no sign of easing

A view shows a damaged car at Martyr Muhammad Hashem Matar Street in Bahri, Khartoum North, Sudan, April 30, 2023, in this still image taken from video obtained by Reuters. Video obtained by Reuters/via REUTERS

KHARTOUM — Fighting could be heard in Khartoum early on Monday as the United Nations warned of a humanitarian “breaking point”, with rival military forces accusing each other of fresh violations of a ceasefire as their devastating conflict enters a third week.

Hundreds of people have been killed and thousands wounded since a long-simmering power struggle between the Sudanese army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) erupted into conflict on April 15.


Violence has rocked the capital Khartoum and risks reawakening war in the vast Western region of Darfur scarred by a two-decade old conflict, despite numerous ceasefire pledges.


Together, the army and RSF toppled a civilian government in an October 2021 coup but are now locked in a power struggle that has derailed an internationally backed transition to democracy and is threatening to destabilize a fragile region.

Both sides said a formal ceasefire agreement which was due to expire at midnight would be extended for a further 72 hours, in a move the RSF said was “in response to international, regional and local calls”.

The army said it hoped what it called the “rebels” would abide by the deal but it believed they had intended to keep up attacks.

At least 528 people have been killed and 4,599 wounded, the health ministry said. The United Nations has reported a similar number of dead but believes the real toll is much higher.

Many fear for their lives as Sudan’s two most powerful men prosecute war in a country that has faced civil wars, coups and economic hardship for decades.

“I have to keep working, especially in these circumstances. Everything is more expensive,” said Abdelbagi, a barber in Khartoum. “I show up to work for two or three hours then I close up because it’s not safe.”


The fighting has pitched Sudan towards a civil war, derailing an internationally-backed transition aimed at establishing a democratic government and sending tens of thousands of people fleeing into neighboring countries.

It has also deepened the humanitarian crisis in Sudan, where a third of the people were dependent on some form of humanitarian assistance before the fighting erupted, said Martin Griffiths, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator at the United Nations.

“The scale and speed of what is unfolding in Sudan is unprecedented. We are extremely concerned by the immediate as well as long-term impact on all people in Sudan and the broader region,” he said.

Victoria, one of the tea sellers that used to dot Khartoum’s streets before the fighting began, said her children are struggling to understand what is happening.

“So I risk my life to try to work and if God helps me I’ll get them some food and if he doesn’t I’ll keep trying. But just sitting useless doesn’t help and being scared doesn’t help,” she said.

Army leader General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan has said he would never sit down with RSF chief General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, also known as Hemedti, who in turn said he would talk only after the army ceased hostilities.

In Khartoum, the army has been battling RSF forces entrenched in residential areas. Fighting has so far seen the more agile RSF forces fan out across the city as the better equipped army tries to target them largely by using air strikes from drones and fighter jets.

The conflict has sent tens of thousands of people fleeing across Sudan’s borders and prompted warnings the country could disintegrate, destabilizing a volatile region and prompting foreign governments to scramble to evacuate their nationals.

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TAGS: fighting, Politics, Sudan

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