Fighting Escalates In Sudan’s Capital After Ceasefire Expires

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BY ALJAZEERA

Fighting intensified in Khartoum after a ceasefire deal expired and a new outburst of violence took hold in Sudan’s restive Darfur region with dozens reportedly killed in what was described as “complete lawlessness”.

Black smoke billowed above the capital on Sunday after the truce between Sudan’s army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) expired hours earlier, live television footage showed.

“In southern Khartoum, we are living in terror of violent bombardment, the sound of anti-aircraft guns, and power cuts,” said 34-year-old resident Sara Hassan by phone. “We are in real hell.”

Fighting in the capital has led to widespread damage and looting, a collapse in health services, power, and water cuts, and dwindling food supplies.

The RSF claimed it shot down a fighter jet after the army “launched an audacious airborne assault upon our forces’ positions” in northern Khartoum.

A military source said a Chinese-made jet crashed near the Wadi Seidna base north of Khartoum because of a “technical malfunction”.

Witnesses said they saw an aircraft traveling from the south to the north of the capital with flames erupting from it. Others spoke of air strikes on RSF positions in the east of the city, with some civilian casualties reported.

Among the other areas where fighting was reported were central and southern Khartoum and Khartoum North, across the Blue Nile to the north.

Brokered by Saudi Arabia and the United States, the ceasefire calmed the street battles slightly and allowed limited humanitarian access but, like previous truces, was repeatedly violated. Talks to extend the ceasefire broke down on Friday.

The deadly power struggle that erupted in Sudan on April 15 has triggered a significant humanitarian crisis with more than 1.2 million people displaced in the country and another 400,000 fleeing into neighboring states.

It also threatens to destabilize the region as a whole.

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