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Heavy Clashes and Tensions Continue in Sudan Despite Truce Extension

by Joshua Brown
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Early Friday morning, loud explosions and gunfire were heard in Sudan’s two largest cities of Khartoum and Omdurman. This happened despite the extension of an agreement between the country’s two generals to prevent any more violence from occurring, which had already resulted in hundreds of deaths. Also, a Turkish plane was shot at outside Khartoum on Friday but luckily nobody got hurt.

The war started again after both sides agreed to give themselves a 72-hour break from fighting. This gave them enough time to help people get away from Sudan and for other countries to take out their citizens by car, plane or boat. Some breaks were shorter than others and there were lots of Sudanese people who escaped the fighting but even though there was a break in the fighting, it couldn’t stop it completely.

Residents said there was a lot of fighting in the wealthy part of Khartoum called Kafouri. The military also sent airplanes to bomb their opponents, the Rapid Support Forces, who are located in that area. People also reported that clashes took place outside the military’s headquarters, the Republican Palace and near Khartoum International Airport. Since April 15th, these areas have been hot spots for warfare between the military and the RSF.

Abdalla, who lives in Kafouri, told us that lots of loud explosions and gun shots were happening there. In Omdurman which is on the other side of the river from Khartoum, a group said that they could hear gunshots going off all the time in Karari district. They warned people to be careful.

The RSF reported that the army’s planes had bombed their positions near Khartoum. The military on the other hand, said it was RSF who initiated the attack first. It wasn’t possible to confirm who was right or wrong in this matter.

The Turkish Defense Ministry said that guns were shot at a plane which was going to the Wadi Sayidna airbase (14 miles away from Khartoum) to take back Turkish citizens. Nobody was hurt, and the airplane landed safely, according to their tweet.

The Sudanese army blamed the RSF (a paramilitary force) for shooting at the Turkish aircraft, although they denied it.

The U.N. Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, announced that the French military had evacuated many people working for them and other international aid organizations on Thursday night from al-Fasher, a city in western Sudan’s Darfur region, to N’Djamena which is Chad’s capital. Although most of the U.N. team left Al-Fasher, Volker Perthes who is an envoy with the United Nations mission stayed back in Sudan along with some fellow staffs.

In April 2019, Sudan had a pro-democracy revolution that forced the former leader, Omar al-Bashir, to leave. This was followed by Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan and Gen. Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo taking control of the situation. In 2021 they teamed up and overthrew the civilian-military leadership that had been supported by other countries, like Western ones. This takeover of power has made it hard for Sudan’s dreams of becoming a democracy come true.

All the fighting is making things very bad in the country, especially in its capital city. Thousands of people are running away to try and find safety in Egypt or Port Sudan near the Red Sea. The people who were left behind have it bad; they’ve been stuck inside their homes with no food, water, electricity or other services available. It’s really tough in Khartoum and some other cities right now.

The health care system is almost broken, with a lot of hospitals closed due to attacks, not having enough staff or electricity. Some aid groups have had to stop working and move their workers out of the country.

More than 500 people in Sudan have died and almost 4,200 have been hurt since April 15th. The Health Ministry said that at least 303 of those killed were civilians and the Doctors’ Syndicate said that 1,848 civilians were wounded.

Fighting caused a lot of problems in the capital city and other parts of the country. Gangs of armed men broke into markets, shops, and homes. People said they were part of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF).

The biggest political group from Sudan also said that RSF members went to the house of its leader in Amarat, one of the most important places in Khartoum.

On April 21st, the first day of Eid al-Fitr (a Muslim holiday), the paramilitary force broke into al-Fadel’s house when he and his family were not there. They damaged things in the house and also took away their gold before leaving the day after. The RSF (paramilitary force) haven’t said anything about this, but they have previously said that any armed men pretending to be them weren’t allowed to take part in stealing and robbery.

On Friday, the city of Genena in Darfur was still really dangerous after gunmen ran through it and fought each other. This caused a lot of death and theft from shops and homes. Dr. Salah Tour said that although the fighting had stopped for now, it was still a precarious situation.

On Thursday, a group of men wearing RSF uniforms attacked some neighborhoods in Genena, which is a city with about 500,000 people near the Chad border. This resulted in lots of families having to leave their homes, and then even more violence because tribal fighters got involved too.

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