Renewed Fighting Rocks Greater Khartoum as Sudan’s Warring Generals Resume Battle
Heavy artillery exchanges broke out across greater Khartoum early Wednesday as Sudan’s warring generals resumed their fighting just minutes after the expiration of the latest US and Saudi-brokered ceasefire. Residents of Omdurman reported heavy exchanges of artillery fire within minutes of the 72-hour ceasefire at 6:00 am (0400 GMT). Meanwhile, Army warplanes flew low over several adjacent districts.
Each side accused the other of attacking the intelligence service’s headquarters in the capital Khartoum when an immense fire broke out on Tuesday evening, in violation of the truce. A source within the regular army led by Abdel Fattah al-Burhan accused rival paramilitaries loyal to former deputy Mohamed Hamdan Daglo of shelling the building. However, a source within the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces said an “army drone bombed the building where RSF fighters had gathered, sparking a fire and the partial destruction of the intelligence headquarters.”
While the truce brought a brief respite to the millions trapped in the fighting in greater Khartoum, an exodus of refugees continued to pour out of the war’s other major battleground, Darfur. Nationwide, over 2,000 people have been killed since the power struggle between Burhan and Daglo erupted into fighting on April 15, with over 2.5 million people fleeing their homes.
Washington has placed blame for the recent “atrocities” in Darfur, which hosts a quarter of Sudan’s population, on the RSF, which has its origins in the Janjaweed. In an audio recording on Tuesday, Daglo denounced what he called “a tribal conflict” in El Geneina, claiming to have ordered his men “not to intervene” and accusing the army of “creating sedition by distributing weapons” to civilians.
Monday’s donors’ conference raised almost $1.5 billion in aid pledges for Sudan and neighbouring countries, but organisers said that amount was just half of the estimated need. UN chief Antonio Guterres warned that “the scale and speed of Sudan’s descent into death and destruction is unprecedented.” “My appeal to all the neighbouring countries is to say I understand your security concerns, but please keep your borders open because these people are really fleeing for their lives,” UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said in an interview with AFP on Tuesday.