Fierce fighting erupted Saturday in Sudan’s capital between the military and the Rapid Support Forces group. A doctors’ group said at least three people were killed and dozens injured.
The clashes between the military and the RSF capped months of heightened tensions between both sides that forced the delay of a deal with political parties to restore the country’s short-lived transition to democracy.
The sound of heavy firing could be heard across the capital, Khartoum, and its sister city of Omdurman, where both the military and the RSF have amassed tens of thousands of troops since an October 2021 military coup.
One of the flashpoints was Khartoum International Airport. The Sudan Doctors’ Syndicate said two civilians were killed at the airport, without specifying the circumstances. The committee said in a statement that another man was shot to death in the state of North Kordofan.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and other top diplomats expressed extreme concern over the outbreak of violence. “We urge all actors to stop the violence immediately and avoid further escalations or troop mobilizations and continue talks to resolve outstanding issues,” Blinken wrote on Twitter.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres; the European Union’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell; the head of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahama and the Arab League chief, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, all called for a cease-fire and for both parties to return to negotiations to settle their dispute.
Russia’s foreign ministry said there was “serious concern in Moscow,” which called for urgent steps toward a ceasefire.
The army said it had carried out air strikes and “destroyed” two RSF bases in Khartoum.