On the second day of clashes that have left scores of people dead, fierce fighting has resumed in the capital city of Sudan despite a temporary ceasefire that was implemented to meet humanitarian requirements, including the evacuation of wounded people. According to the Sudan Doctors’ Syndicate, at least five civilians were murdered and 78 more were injured on Sunday, increasing the total number of casualties over the past two days to 61 deaths and over 1000 injuries.
According to Abdalla Hamdok, who served as Prime Minister of Sudan in the past, “The people of Sudan continue to have just one realistic option available to them, and that is to work toward restoring peace in their nation.” “As a result, I am making a plea for an immediate cease-fire as well as for the parties involved to negotiate a settlement that results in a permanent end to the hostilities.”
A power battle is taking place between General Abdel-Fattah Burhan, who is in charge of the armed forces, and General Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo, who is in charge of the Rapid Support Forces group. The fights are a part of this power struggle. The two generals are erstwhile allies who collaborated in the planning and execution of a military coup in October 2021. This coup was responsible for derailing Sudan’s brief transition to democracy.
The world community, which stood by helplessly as the coup d’état in October 2021 took place and has not been successful in persuading the generals to sign a plan to settle the crisis, is increasing the volume of its pleas for a ceasefire. At the request of Egypt and Saudi Arabia, two important players in Sudan, the Arab League will hold an emergency meeting in Cairo at 9:00 a.m. local time (0900 GMT).
The divisions between General Abdel Fattah al-Burhane, head of the army, and General Mohamed Hamdane Daglo, known as “Hemedti,” head of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), composed of thousands of ex-militiamen of the Darfur war who have become official auxiliaries of the regular troops, degenerated into violence on Saturday morning in the streets of this country of 45 million inhabitants, among the poorest in the world, torn by war for decades.
The fighting lasted throughout the morning on Sunday. After explosions and gunfire rang out throughout the night in Khartoum’s streets, which were otherwise vacant, the air was filled with the pungent smell of gunpowder. On Facebook in the evening, the military issued a stern warning to residents, saying that “the air force will conduct operations to finish with the rebel militias of the Rapid Support, and civilians must stay home.”
According to reports from witnesses, significant fire engagements took place in the morning between members of the military and members of the paramilitary in the northern suburbs of the capital as well as in the south of Khartoum. Men dressed in fatigues and carrying guns were seen wandering through streets throughout the capital city that were devoid of civilians, as columns of smoke have been rising since Saturday from the city center, which is where the majority of the country’s political institutions are located.
Kassala, located in the country’s coastal east, was also the location where witnesses reported hearing artillery fire. Pro-democracy medics claim that 56 civilians were killed, with more than half of the deaths occurring in Khartoum and its suburbs. There are “dozens” of reports of deaths among military and paramilitary forces, but exact numbers are not readily available. In addition to this, over 600 individuals lost their lives.
The crisis had been simmering for weeks, obstructing any political settlement in a country that has been attempting since 2019 to hold its first democratic elections after thirty years of islamo-military dictatorship. It is impossible to determine which force is responsible for holding what. On Saturday, the RSF made the announcement that it had taken the airport within a few hours, but the army denied that this had occurred. The RSF asserted that they were in control of the presidential mansion as well. The army strongly refuted this claim and stated that it was in control of one of the most important power complexes in Khartoum, which is the headquarters of its general staff.