Fighting continued to rage for the second consecutive day on Sunday in Khartoum where violent clashes oppose the camps of two generals at the helm of Sudan since their putsch in 2021, leaving 56 civilians dead and 600 injured.
The international community, which stood by helplessly as the coup occurred in October 2021 and has yet to persuade the generals to sign a plan to end the crisis, is increasing its calls for a ceasefire.
The Arab League convened urgently at 09:00 GMT in Cairo, at the request of Egypt and Saudi Arabia, both powerful players in Sudan.
General Abdel Fattah al-Burhane, head of the army, and General Mohamed Hamdane Daglo, known as “Hemedti,” head of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) – thousands of ex-militiamen from the Darfur war who have become official auxiliaries of the regular troops – clashed on Saturday morning in the streets of this 45 million-person country, one of the poorest in the world, torn by war for decades.
The fighting continued on Sunday morning. The smell of gunpowder filled the deserted streets of Khartoum after explosions and gunfire rang out all night.
“The air force will conduct operations to finish with the rebel militias of the Rapid Support,” the military warned on Facebook in the evening.
Witnesses reported heavy gun battles between military and paramilitaries in the capital’s northern suburbs as well as in Khartoum’s south.
Men in fatigues, weapons in hand, walked through streets devoid of civilians throughout the capital, while columns of smoke have been rising since Saturday from the city centre, where the main institutions of power are located.
Artillery fire was also reported in Kassala, on the country’s east coast.
According to pro-democracy doctors, 56 civilians were killed, more than half of whom were killed in Khartoum and its suburbs, while “dozens” of military and paramilitary personnel were killed, though exact figures are not available.
Furthermore, approximately 600 people have been killed.
The conflict had been brewing for weeks, preventing any political solution in a country that has been attempting to hold free elections since 2019 after 30 years of Islamo-military dictatorship.
It is impossible to tell which force is holding what. The RSF claimed to have taken the airport in a matter of hours on Saturday, but the army denied this.
The RSF claimed to be in control of the presidential palace as well.
The army denied this, claiming that it was holding the headquarters of its general staff, one of Khartoum’s main power complexes.
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