HomeWorldIn Sudan, fighting rages between army and paramilitaries

In Sudan, fighting rages between army and paramilitaries

The Sudanese capital was rocked by gunfire and explosions on Saturday evening after a day of deadly street fighting, air raids and media and social media threats from the two generals in command of Sudan since the 2021 putsch.

In Khartoum, where the few civilians who had ventured out in the morning ran home, columns of smoke rose above the headquarters of the paramilitaries and the international airport.

A first report announced by the Syndicate of Doctors reports three civilians killed.

Throughout the day, calls for a ceasefire have multiplied: from the UN, Washington, Moscow, Paris, Rome, Riyadh, the African Union, the Arab League, the European Union and even the former Prime civilian minister Abdallah Hamdok. But nothing worked.

Sunday, the Arab League announces an emergency meeting on Sudan, at the request of Cairo – where it sits – and Riyadh, two great allies of the Sudanese army, struggling with the paramilitaries who now want to dislodge it from power. .

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres called on the two belligerents: army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhane and paramilitary boss Mohamed Hamdane Daglo, known as “Hemedti”, but also Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to demand “an immediate end to the violence”.

The paramilitaries say they are inflexible. They “will not stop until they have taken control of all the military bases”, threatened their commander Hemedti on al-Jazeera channel.

In the evening, on the Emirati channel Sky News Arabia, he repeated that he had been “forced” to react. “We didn’t start it,” he insisted. “Burhane the criminal must surrender,” he said as shots echoed around him.

Its Rapid Support Forces (FSR) – thousands of former Darfur war militiamen turned army auxiliaries – said they had taken over the international airport and the presidential palace.

General Burhane has not appeared since the morning, but assures in a press release that he was “surprised at nine o’clock in the morning” by an attack on his HQ by the FSR, his former best ally whom the army now describes as “foreign-backed militia” to carry out his “betrayal”.

The army has posted a “wanted notice” against Hemedti on its Facebook page. “This fugitive criminal is wanted by justice,” reads the photo montage, while another press release announces the dissolution of the FSR, calling on all these men to surrender.

On both sides, no more hushed negotiations under the aegis of diplomats and other civilized discussions, the army has mobilized its planes to strike – and “destroy”, it says – RSF bases in Khartoum. As for calls to return to the negotiating table, the army replied that it was “impossible before the dissolution of the FSR”.

The latter call on the 45 million Sudanese and even the military to “join them” and turn against the army.

The inhabitants, themselves, remain cloistered at home. “I was going to work this morning but as soon as I heard the shots, I went home,” Bakry, 24, told AFP.

The two sides are still battling for control of the state media headquarters, according to witnesses.

Saudi plane attacked

During the putsch in October 2021, Hemedti and Burhane joined forces to oust civilians from power. But over time, Hemedti has continued to denounce the coup.

Even recently, he sided with the civilians – therefore against the army in political negotiations – blocking the discussions and therefore any solution to end the crisis in Sudan.

For days, the streets had been buzzing with rumors of an impending guerrilla war between the two camps, as convoys of RSF tanks converged on Khartoum.

The army denies the capture of the airport but assures that the FSR “burned civilian planes there, including one from Saudi Airlines”. The company confirmed.

A video posted on Saturday by the FSR on Twitter shows men in uniform presented as “Egyptian soldiers who surrendered with Sudanese soldiers” to the FSR in the military base of Meroe (north).

The Egyptian army spokesman said he was “monitoring the situation” confirming “the presence of Egyptian forces” in Sudan.

“They are safe and will be handed over to Egypt,” Hemedti told Sky News Arabia.

For the experts, the two commanders have not ceased in recent days to raise the stakes as civilians and the international community try to make them sign a political agreement supposed to relaunch the democratic transition.

The Moroccan embassy in “vigilance” mode

In light of the current events in the country, the Moroccan Embassy in Khartoum called on Moroccan nationals to be vigilant and to avoid all areas of tension.

In a press release, the diplomatic representation of the Kingdom thus urged the members of the Moroccan community residing in this country, to avoid ending up in areas where clashes of any kind take place, in order to preserve their safety.

Members of the Moroccan community were also asked not to leave their homes in the current context, to respect the directives issued by the competent Sudanese authorities and not to violate them.

The Moroccan Embassy in Khartoum, which has made available to all Moroccan citizens in Sudan the telephone number, 00249123613284, to communicate and provide the necessary assistance and support, indicated that it is monitoring the situation very closely in 8 Moroccans currently visiting the Sudanese capital.



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