SUDAN: The primary paramilitary group in Sudan and the regular armed forces engaged in gunshot exchanges in Khartoum and other parts of the nation.
The army denied claims made by the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) that they had taken control of airports, the presidential palace, and the residence of the army leader. General Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan stated that if the RSF are sensible, they will turn back their troops and send troops from other places into Khartoum.
Burhan was referred to as a “criminal and a liar” by the RSF chief, General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo. The situation on the ground remained unclear due to the two sides’ divergent accounts of what happened. The army claimed to be battling the RSF at locations the paramilitaries claimed to have captured, while the RSF claimed the army had assaulted it first.
Conflicts between the army and the RSF over their enlistment in the armed forces have been on the rise recently, leading to the postponement of an accord with political parties supporting a democratic transition. Civil forces have demanded that the army and the RSF cease hostilities to prevent Sudan from tumbling down “the precipice of total collapse”.
They declared in a statement, “This is a crucial period in the history of our country. This is a war that no one will win and that will irreparably harm our nation.”
The RSF charged that the army attempted a coup and conspiracy by supporters of President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, who was overthrown in 2019. The fighting spilt into residential zones, with only three deaths reported as civilians took cover from gunshots.
Witness reports of firing in other cities were from witnesses, and gunfire was audible in various locations throughout Khartoum.
The Sudanese military is reacting to any “irresponsible” behaviour at the state TV headquarters in Khartoum, with a large RSF troop presence. Smoke can be seen billowing over Khartoum neighbourhoods.
Eyewitnesses reported gunshots in Merowe, El Fasher and Nyala. The RSF claimed to have seized control of airports in West Darfur state and El Fasher. International organisations demanded a stop to the fighting, and Chad’s border with Sudan was closed.
The Saudi Arabian Airlines plane at Khartoum airport was attacked, and flights to and from Sudan have been cancelled. The army claimed that the RSF had attempted to attack its forces from a number of sites, but the RSF claimed that the army had attacked first.
Hemedti’s RSF was formed after the Darfur region crisis in the 2000s, which resulted in 2.5 million people being displaced and 300,000 deaths. He had upset other military leaders by positioning himself at the head of a planned transition to democracy, leading to a mobilisation of troops in Khartoum.
On Thursday, the gap between the troops was revealed when the army claimed RSF activities were illegal.