Explosions and heavy gunfire rocked Sudan’s capital for a fifth day after a ceasefire between the forces of the country’s two most powerful generals failed, sending thousands of people fleeing the city in search of safety.
Thick black smoke billowed from buildings surrounding the military headquarters in the center of Khartoum, the capital of the giant Arab country in northeast Africa, on Wednesday.
Violence erupted on Saturday between the forces of the two generals who seized power in a 2021 coup: army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and the commander of the Rapid Support Forces (FAR) paramilitary group, Mohamed Hamdan Daghlo.
The two soldiers were at loggerheads over plans to integrate the FAR with the regular army.A key condition of the final agreement is to resume Sudan’s democratic transition after decades of military dictatorship.
FAR fighters drove armed vehicles and trucks with heavy weapons through the streets of Khartoum as warplanes flew overhead and fired at FAR targets, AFP news agency reported, citing witnesses.
People are staying in their homes Increasingly desperate for food, electricity and drinking water.
Their hopes of being pulled out were dashed when the 24-hour humanitarian ceasefire collapsed minutes from its scheduled start time of 6:00 p.m.
Thousands of people in Khartoum began fleeing their homes on Wednesday morning, some in vehicles and others on foot, including women and children.According to AFP.
This is what the fugitives said The streets were littered with corpses and the smell of their decay filled the air.
Foreign governments began planning to evict thousands of foreigners, including UN officials. The United Nations suspended its operations in the country this week.
Japan announced that its defense ministry had begun “necessary preparations” to evacuate some 60 nationals, including diplomatic staff, from Sudan.
(S) Collapse of ceasefire (A) After the collapse of the ceasefire, the army accused the FAR of being a “rebel militia” and of violating the ceasefire and of continuing “clashes around the army headquarters and airfield”.
In turn, the FAR accused the army of “violations” and breaching the ceasefire by launching “periodic attacks” against its forces and bases around the capital.
At least 185 people have been killed and more than 1,800 injured in the fighting, according to the UN.
But the true number must be much higher, as many of the wounded did not make it to hospitals, which have come under shelling, the Sudan Medical Association said.
Office and residential buildings in the city were left with broken windows and facades riddled with bullets.
Witnesses say electricity and water no longer reach parts of Khartoum, forcing villagers to flee as the fighting subsides in search of food and supplies.
The violence comes after more than 120 civilians have been killed in a crackdown on pro-democracy protests over the past 18 months.
The start of the fight
Both generals present themselves as Sudan’s saviors and defenders of democracy, in a country that has known only brief periods of democracy.
Since the fighting began, each side has claimed control of key bases or made advances on other bases across the country.
Neither version could be independently verified.
The outbreak of violence was the culmination of deep divisions between the army and the FAR, created by ousted autocratic leader Omar al-Bashir in 2013.
In April 2019, Burhan and Daghlo together overthrew the regime after massive protests against Al Bashir’s three-decade iron rule.
In October 2021, the two led a coup against the civilian government installed after Al Bashir’s departure, ending the transition supported by the international community.
Burhan, a military officer in northern Sudan, said the coup was “necessary” to bring other factions into politics.
But Daghlo says the coup was a “mistake” that failed to bring about change and instead strengthened the remnants of al-Bashir’s regime.
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