Intense Fighting Continues in Sudan Despite Ceasefire

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The deadly conflict between the Sudanese army and a powerful paramilitary force has raged for a third week despite warnings of a rise toward civil war. Hundreds of people have lost their lives, and thousands have been wounded since a long-simmering power struggle between the military forces erupted into conflict two years ago.

A UN envoy said that new violations of the ceasefire had been reported, a sign that Sudan’s rival military forces were unwilling to halt their deadly clashes. A Reuters news agency report quotes a military source saying, “Both sides were continuing to fire on each other.”

In Khartoum, residents huddled in their homes, and hospitals were closed. The United States evacuated its embassy and many of its staff members from the capital, urging other nations to follow suit.

Residents in the capital’s crowded Omdurman neighborhood hear heavy firing and see explosions around them. The United Nations envoy to the country, Volker Perthes, has said that “the situation is very worrying.”

Atiya Abdalla Atiya, director of the Sudan Doctors’ Syndicate, says she has seen at least 26 civilians killed so far. However, she added that the toll could be much higher as bodies remain scattered in and around central Khartoum.

A senior military official told Reuters that fighting occurred in and around the capital’s airport, state television headquarters, and other strategic sites. Gen. Abdel Fattah Burhan, the head of the military, accused the RSF of capturing the airport and setting it on fire. He also said his forces had taken control of the Republican palace, the seat of the Sudanese presidency.

General Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo, the leader of the RSF, accused Burhan of starting the battle by surrounding his troops. He also told the satellite news network Al Arabiya that “he ruled out negotiation” and called for Burhan’s surrender.

The clashes are the latest episode in a long-simmering power struggle that has killed thousands of civilians and led to a blockade of the country’s principal port. It has prompted Egypt, a regional heavyweight with close ties to Sudan’s military, to step in and urge the two generals to stop the violence.

In a meeting with heads of state from the IGAD trade bloc, which includes eight African countries and is led by Sudan, eminent leaders called for a ceasefire. They warned that a long-running civil war or partition of the African and Arab countries into rival fiefdoms was possible if the situation deteriorated.

Despite the calls, Burhan and Dagalo have resisted any negotiations. Their stance is frustrating efforts to reach a deal between the two groups to return Sudan to civilian rule and end a political crisis that began in 2021 with the army’s coup.

But if the battles continue, it could destabilize Africa’s most-populous nation, which shares its borders with Egypt and Ethiopia, and could even draw in other countries such as India, Pakistan, and Iran, according to a column in The Washington Post by Jeffrey Gettleman. Moreover, if the two sides cannot resolve their differences, Sudan will likely fall into a prolonged civil war that will unlikely end in a transition to democracy.

James Williams

James Williams is a bestselling author and historian with a passion for storytelling. He has written numerous books on historical figures and events, including biographies of famous leaders and explorers. James is also a regular contributor to several historical publications and blogs. His ability to bring history to life has earned him critical acclaim and a loyal following of readers. When he's not writing, James enjoys traveling to historical sites and exploring new places.

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