Khartoum conflict rages for 3 days, death count increasing
Khartoum — Sudan is mired in conflict, and to say it is having an adverse circumstance is an understatement.
For the third day, the country has been embroiled in a violent and terrible battle, with around 100 people murdered and hundreds more injured.
In hospitals, blood supplies and life-saving equipment are running low, prompting the declaration of a humanitarian crisis.
On Saturday, the Sudanese military and the paramilitary group Rapid Support Forces (RSF) began combat.
The RSF is led by Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, also known as Hemedti, who alleges the army breached a UN-brokered humanitarian truce.
Hemedti promised on Monday that the group will hunt out and punish Sudan’s Armed Forces head, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan.
Meanwhile, the Sudanese army is encouraging paramilitaries to defect and join it.
Residents of Khartoum had no choice but to listen on Monday as planes unloaded ammunition and mortars.
Witnesses reported hearing mortars in the early morning hours.
After morning prayers, fighting started near Khartoum International Airport and Sudanese Army military installations.
In the video, military jets and helicopters can be seen flying above the airport.
Another video showed the aftermath of a fire that ravaged the army’s General Command building nearby on Sunday.
Residents to the east of the airport said they saw jets attack targets to the east of the command.
“We saw explosions and smoke rising from Obaid Khatim Street, and immediately after that, anti-aircraft artillery fired massively towards the plans,” said an eyewitness.
Throughout the chaos, the two factions are fighting for control of Khartoum, the capital.
On Monday, the armed forces announced that the Rapid Support Forces were spreading false information in order to mislead the public and that the army had complete control of all of their Khartoum headquarters.
Sudan’s major state television channel, which had gone dark the day before, re-entered the airwaves on Monday, airing pro-army propaganda.
On the channel, a banner with the words:
“The armed forces were able to regain control of the national broadcaster after repeated attempts by the militias to destroy its infrastructure.”
On Monday morning, street violence erupted in the Kafouri district of north Khartoum, forcing women and children to flee.
Meanwhile, residents in Khartoum’s Kalakla neighborhood reported hearing loud explosions that rocked their homes.
There were also reports of violence in the eastern city of Port Sudan and the western Darfur region during the weekend.
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According to the Sudanese Doctors labor union’s Preliminary Committee, at least 97 people were slain.
On Sunday, the World Health Organization reported that 1,126 people had been hurt.
According to the WHO, doctors and nurses are struggling to serve patients who require urgent treatment owing to a lack of vital supplies.
They issued the following statement:
“Supplies distributed by WHO to health facilities prior to this recent escalation of conflict are now exhausted, and many of the nine hospitals in Khartoum receiving injured civilians are reporting shortages of blood, transfusion equipment, intravenous fluids, medical supplies, and other life-saving commodities.”
According to the WHO, water and power shortages are causing problems for health-care facilities, and hospital generator fuel is running low.
Blames and civilians
According to Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, the military started the battle, and the RSF had no choice but to fight on to protect itself.
He was certain that the army chief and al-Burhan had lost command of the troops.
Dagalo further indicated that he has no desire to lead Sudan and that a civilian administration be formed.
During the chaos, civilians were instructed to stay at home.
According to one homeowner, residents were trapped in their homes with little to no safety.
“All we can hear is continuous blast after blast,” they wrote.
“What exactly is happening and where, we don’t know, but it feels like it’s directly over our heads.”
Halted services and evacuations
The Sudan conflict has been made known to other countries and organizations.
After three staff members were murdered in violence on Saturday, the UN World Food Program temporarily suspended all operations in Sudan.
According to the international aid organization, the UN and other humanitarian organizations in Darfur were stolen.
Meanwhile, gunfire damaged a World Food Programme-managed aircraft in Khartoum, hampering the WFP’s ability to deliver supplies and personnel.
Due to the shutdown of its airport and airspace, Qatar Airways announced on Sunday that it will cease flights to and from Khartoum.
The RSF, according to Dagalo, is in control of the capital’s airport and other government facilities.
The Mexican government is preparing to evacuate its citizens, with the foreign minister announcing that the administration hopes to get everyone out by Sunday.
Meanwhile, the US embassy in Sudan reported that no plans for a government-coordinated evacuation of Americans had been made, citing the closure of Khartoum International Airport.
It urged Americans in Sudan to remain indoors, threatening to declare a state of emergency if required for private US citizens.
Calls for peace
Recent wars have sparked widespread calls for peace talks and dialogues.
Moussa Faki, the leader of the African Union Commission, is set to arrive in Khartoum on Monday to put an end to the violence.
Both the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, and the UK Foreign Secretary, James Cleverly, have urged for an immediate cease-fire.
“People in Sudan want the military back in the barracks, they want democracy, they want a civilian-led government,” said Blinken.
“Sudan needs to return to that path.”
Sudan’s two warring factions have achieved an agreement, according to the UN political mission, but the implications remain uncertain.