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Airstrikes ‘shook’ homes as sixth week of Sudanese civil war began

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Last night, airstrikes hit Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, as the civil conflict, which has trapped and displaced millions of people, enters its sixth week.

Law and order have collapsed as a result of fighting between the Sudanese army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, and both sides have been accused of looting.

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In the country of North Africa, supplies of food, money, and necessities are rapidly running out.

Eyewitnesses in southern Omdurman and northern Bahri, the two cities that are located across the Nile from Khartoum and make up Sudan’s “triple capital,” have reported airstrikes on Saturday.

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epa10631656 People fleeing Sudan arrive at the Qastal Land Port after crossing the border from Sudan, near Abu Simbel, southern Egypt, 16 May 2023. According to the United Nations, some 200,000 people have fled Sudan since 15 April 2023, after an armed conflict erupted between the Sudanese military and the RSF (Rapid Support Forces) militia. EPA/KHALED ELFIQI
Over a million people have been displaced since fighting between the army and paramilitary groups broke out in April (Picture: EPA)

Some of the strikes took place near the state broadcaster in Omdurman, the eyewitnesses said.

Eyewitnesses in Khartoum said that the situation was relatively calm, although sporadic gunshots could be heard.

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The conflict, which began on April 15, has displaced almost 1.1 million people internally and into neighbouring countries.

Some 705 people have been killed and at least 5,287 injured, according to the World Health Organization.

Talks sponsored by the United States and Saudi Arabia in Jeddah have not been fruitful, and the two sides have accused each other of violating multiple ceasefire agreements.

‘We faced heavy artillery fire early this morning, the whole house was shaking,’ said Sanaa Hassan, a 33-year-old living in the al-Salha neighbourhood of Omdurman.

‘It was terrifying, everyone was lying under their beds. What’s happening is a nightmare,’ she said.

The RSF is embedded in residential districts, drawing almost continual air strikes by the regular armed forces.

In recent days ground fighting has flared once again in the Darfur region, in the cities of Nyala and Zalenjei.

Both sides blamed each other in statements late on Friday for sparking the fighting in Nyala, one of the country’s largest cities, which had for weeks been relatively calm due to a locally-brokered truce.

A local activist told reporters there were sporadic gun clashes near the city’s main market close to army headquarters on Saturday morning. Almost 30 people have died in the two previous days of fighting, according to activists.

The war broke out in Khartoum after disputes over plans for the RSF to be integrated into the army and over the future chain of command under an internationally backed deal to shift Sudan towards democracy following decades of conflict-ridden autocracy.

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) announced late on Friday more than $100 million to Sudan and countries receiving fleeing Sudanese, including much-needed food and medical aid.

‘It’s hard to convey the extent of the suffering occurring right now in Sudan,’ said agency head Samantha Power.


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