| 12 April 2024, Friday |

Clashes heard in Sudan’s Capital as Eid Holiday begins

Artillery fire and clashes could be heard on Tuesday in parts of Sudan’s capital, residents said, despite a unilateral ceasefire declared by the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) for the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha.

RSF leader Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, known as Hemedti, announced a truce for Tuesday and Wednesday in an audio message after his forces took control of a major police base in southern Khartoum where it seized dozens of vehicles and large stocks of ammunition.

The army did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Multiple ceasefire deals and announcements have failed to stick since fighting between the army and the RSF erupted in mid-April, including several brokered by Saudi Arabia and the United States at talks in Jeddah that were suspended last week.

The war has brought widespread destruction and looting to Khartoum and has triggered unrest in other parts of Sudan, especially in the western region of Darfur where attacks and ethnic violence spread.

The RSF has been widely blamed for looting and occupying civilian buildings across Khartoum, while the army has tried to push the paramilitary force back with air strikes and heavy artillery.

In his audio message, Hemedti said the RSF would establish a special committee under a senior commander to investigate violations, which would be treated “with severity and seriousness”.

“We affirm clearly that our long-time position is that we reject and we condemn any violations committed against citizens,” he said.

Almost 2.8 million people have been uprooted by the fighting, with more than 2.15 million internally displaced and nearly 650,000 fleeing into neighboring countries, according to estimates from the International Organization for Migration published on Tuesday.

Residents say those fleeing attacks by militias and the RSF in the Darfur city of El Geneina have been killed or shot at as they try to reach Chad by foot.

A senior UN refugee agency official said on Tuesday that many women and children had been arriving in Chad with injuries.

  • Asharq Al-Awsat