Heavy fighting between rival groups within the national armed forces is raging in several places in Sudan for the second day in a row. Doctors report that at least 56 civilians have been killed, as well as at least dozens of military personnel.
Many hundreds of people have been injured by the outbreak of violence. Hospitals cannot cope with the influx of victims, says the Red Cross of Sudan. The injured are therefore also taken to other places for treatment.
A fierce battle is raging in particular for the control of the capital Khartoum. The paramilitary group Rapid Support Forces (RSF) claims to have seized key military and civilian installations. Yesterday, the group claimed to have occupied the presidential palace – but the other camp denies these claims.
Watch footage of the battle here:
By order of the authorities, the internet was shut down throughout the country today, Sudan’s largest telecom company told Reuters. After a few hours, the internet connection was restored. National radio and TV stations had been shut down since Saturday; these media stations have been monitored by the RPF since 2019.
Residents of the city are hiding from the violence. “The only sounds here are bullets and explosions and fighter jets,” one woman told The New York Times.
Fighter jets carry out bombing raids on RSF positions. Negotiations with insurgents are out of the question, the army said in a statement. In turn, the RSF says to continue fighting until the group is in full control.
Generals in the clinch
The coup attempt started yesterday. Under the leadership of General and Vice President Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, known as Hemedti, RSF is trying to take power. He is one of the military leaders who took part in the 2021 coup.
Since then, a group of generals has held power in the African country. Hemedti was then appointed as deputy to President Abdel Fattah al-Burhan. But the two generals are at odds over how the RSF should become part of the government army. This power struggle has now turned into an internal conflict.
Tensions between the rival generals had already risen in recent times. As a result, talks between civilian groups and army leaders about the formation of a transitional government have come to a standstill.
In the popular uprising of 2019, then-President Bashir was deposed. There would be a democratic transition period. But the rival factions within the national armed forces have never given way to an elected government.
Egyptian soldiers captured
RSF fighters claim they captured Egyptian soldiers in the north of the country yesterday. That writes newspaper Sudan Tribune based on posts on social media. Egyptian soldiers are said to be stationed there for an army exercise.
If the RSF’s claim is correct, there is a chance that Egypt will become involved in the conflict. In the background, there is a quarrel between the two neighboring countries about a dam in the Blue Nile.
International pressure is being exerted to end the new conflict quickly, but so far without effect. UN chief Guterres, top EU diplomat Borrell, African Union commission head Faki and Arab League chief Aboul Gheit, among others, have called for a ceasefire.
It is unclear how many Dutch people are staying in Sudan. The embassy is in contact with about fifty Dutch people. The travel advice for Sudan is red. “There is widespread violence in the country between paramilitaries and the army, especially in and around the capital Khartoum,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
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