On Thursday, fierce fighting could be heard in central Khartoum as the army attempted to force the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) back from areas near the presidential palace and army headquarters, with a long-term peace proving elusive.
Each camp appears to be fighting for control of land in the capital ahead of any potential negotiations, despite the fact that the leaders of both sides have shown little public readiness to hold talks after more than two weeks of combat.
Heavy bombardments also rang out in the adjoining cities of Omdurman and Bahri. Both sides had agreed to a seven-day ceasefire, which has been violated.
“Since yesterday evening, and this morning, there are air strikes and the sounds of clashes,” said Al-Sadiq Ahmed, a 49-year-old engineer speaking from Khartoum.
“We’ve got into a state of permanent terror because the battles are around the centres of residential neighborhoods. We don’t know when this nightmare and the fear will end.”
The United Nations, meanwhile, pressed Sudan’s warring factions on Wednesday to guarantee safe passage of humanitarian aid after six trucks were looted and air strikes in the capital undermined a supposed truce.
U.N. aid chief Martin Griffiths said he hoped to have face-to-face meetings with Sudan’s warring parties within two to three days to secure guarantees from them for aid convoys to deliver relief supplies.
The United Nations has warned that fighting between the army and RSF, which erupted on April 15, risks causing a humanitarian catastrophe that could spill into other countries. Sudan said on Tuesday that 550 people had died and 4,926 people wounded so far in the conflict.
About 100,000 people have fled Sudan with little food or water to neighboring countries, the U.N. says.
The army said it killed RSF fighters and destroyed a number of vehicles “belonging to the rebels”, after clashing with the group in the Bahri military region.
The army and RSF joined forces in a coup two years ago and had shared power as part of an internationally backed transition towards free elections and civilian government before falling out over the transition.
The RSF accused the army of breaching a ceasefire and attacking forces since dawn. It said the army attacked its residential neighbourhoods with artillery and aircraft in a “cowardly manner”.