Air strikes outskirts of Khartoum as Sudanese civil war enters sixth week

CAIRO/DUBAI, May 20 (Reuters) – The outskirts of the Sudan capital Khartoum were seen overnight and on Saturday morning as fighting plunged civilians into a humanitarian crisis and displaced more than a million people, entering its sixth week. was bombed.

Fighting between the Sudanese army and militia rapid-relief forces has led to a collapse of law and order, accompanied by looting, with both sides blaming the other. Stocks of food, cash and essentials are rapidly depleting.

The airstrikes were reported by eyewitnesses in Omdurman in the south and Bari in the north, located across the Nile from Khartoum and forming Sudan’s “triple capital”. Witnesses said part of the strike took place near the state broadcast station in Omdurman.

Eyewitnesses in Khartoum said the situation was relatively calm, despite sporadic gunshots.

About 1.1 million people have fled the country and neighboring countries due to the conflict that began on 15 April. About 705 people have been killed and at least 5,287 injured, according to the World Health Organization.

Talks hosted by the United States and Saudi Arabia in Jeddah have been fruitless, with the two countries accusing each other of violating multiple ceasefire agreements.

“Early this morning we were hit by heavy artillery fire that shook the whole house,” Sanaa Hassan, 33, from Al-Sarha district of Omdurman city, told Reuters by phone.

“It was terrifying. Everyone was lying under the bed. What was happening was a nightmare,” she said.

The RSF lurk in residential areas and are subject to near-continuous airstrikes by regular forces.

In recent days, ground fighting has escalated again in the cities of Nyala and Zarenjay in the Darfur region.

In statements late Friday, both sides accused each other of sparking fighting in one of the country’s largest cities, Nyala, which has been relatively calm for weeks thanks to a locally-brokered ceasefire.

Local activists told Reuters there were sporadic gunfights Saturday morning near the city’s main market near the military headquarters. About 30 people have been killed in the last two days of fighting, activists said.

The war is a dispute over plans to integrate the RSF into the military and a future chain of command based on an internationally-backed agreement to transition Sudan to democracy after decades of conflict-ridden dictatorship. erupted in Khartoum.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) announced late Friday more than $100 million, including much-needed food and medical aid, to Sudan and countries hosting Sudanese refugees from Sudan.

“It is difficult to convey the extent of the suffering in Sudan right now,” said Samantha Power, the head of the agency.

(This article has been re-edited to fix a typo in paragraph 1)

Reported by Nafisa Eltahil and Adam McCully in Cairo and Khalid Abdelaziz in Dubai. Written by Nafisa Eltahir, edited by Emelia Sithole-Matarise

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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