Sudanese capital, 17 killed as airstrikes agree to ceasefire

An aerial view of black smoke and flames at a market in Omdurman, Khartoum North, Sudan, on May 17, 2023, in this screengrab from a handout video.  - Reuters
An aerial view of black smoke and flames at a market in Omdurman, Khartoum North, Sudan, on May 17, 2023, in this screengrab from a handout video. – Reuters
  • The war has displaced 2.2 million Sudanese.
  • The US and Saudi Arabia said they had agreed to a ceasefire.
  • A fresh 72-hour ceasefire will begin from Sunday morning.

Dubai, Cairo: Sudan’s warring military factions agreed to another ceasefire in a series that failed to stem the violence as residents said civilians were killed during airstrikes in several parts of the capital city on Saturday.

Fighting between the Sudanese army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) is entering its third month with neither side gaining a clear advantage.

The UN has said the war has displaced 2.2 million Sudanese and sent the war-weary Darfur region into a “humanitarian disaster”. Sudan’s health minister said it killed more than 3,000 people and injured more than 6,000.

Late Saturday, the United States and Saudi Arabia said the two factions had agreed to a new 72-hour ceasefire that would begin Sunday morning. Previous ceasefires have not been able to completely stop the fighting.

The army has the advantage of air power in Khartoum and its neighboring cities of Omdurman and Bahri, while the RSF has established itself in residential neighborhoods. On Friday and Saturday, the army was seen carrying out airstrikes on several residential areas.

In a speech posted by the army on Friday, top general Yasser al-Atta warned people to stay away from homes occupied by the RSF. “Because at this point, we’ll attack them anywhere,” he said to cheers. Rejecting attempts at mediation, he said, “There are bullets between us and these rebels.”

The Khartoum health ministry on Saturday confirmed a report from local volunteers that 17 people, including five children, were killed and 25 houses destroyed in the Mayo area of ​​southern Khartoum.

The strike was the latest in a series of air and artillery attacks on the poor and densely populated district of the city, where most residents are unable to afford the cost of leaving.

air strikes

Late on Friday, the local resistance committee said 13 people were killed in shelling in al-Lambab in western Khartoum, calling the neighborhood an “operation zone”. Residents reported airstrikes in southern and western Khartoum in the afternoon.

The RSF said on Saturday it shot down an army warplane in the Nile River west of Khartoum.

A resident said with a video shared reuters Smoke is shown rising near a fuel depot in southern Khartoum.

Airstrikes in central and southern Omdurman continued from Friday to Saturday, affecting homes and killing one person, according to the local committee in the Beit al-Mal neighborhood.

Residents said three members of a family were killed in Sharq al-Nil district after an airstrike on Friday.

In El-Genina in West Darfur, more than 270,000 have fled across the border into Chad, after more than 1,000 were killed in attacks residents and the United States have blamed on the RSF and allied militias.

A Chadian military source and a local official in Adre, Chad, where many of the escapees have taken refuge, denied reports that Chadian troops clashed with the RSF.

The President said that the President of Chad, General Mahamat Idris Déby, visited the area to see the humanitarian crisis unfolding there and to ensure the closure of the border.

Within Khartoum, the war has cut millions of people off from access to electricity, water and healthcare, and residents have had to ration food. They report widespread looting.

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