Fighting resumed in Sudan’s capital Khartoum on Sunday shortly after the expiration of a 24-hour truce that gave residents a short respite after nearly two months of conflict between rival generals.
It is the “return of terror”, tells theFrance Media Agency Asmaa al-Rih, a resident of the northern suburbs of Khartoum, with “rockets and shells that shake the walls of houses” again.
The inhabitants of this city of five million inhabitants were awakened by artillery fire and the noise of fighting in several neighborhoods, according to multiple witnesses.
A one-day lull is “like a dream” that has faded, confides to theFrance Media Agency Nasreddine Ahmed, a resident of southern Khartoum, who “woke up to the sound of fighting” on Sunday.
The violence resumed ten minutes after the end of the 24-hour truce brokered by Saudi mediators, which began at 6 a.m. local time on Saturday.
Both sides had pledged to cease fighting across the country to allow “the arrival of humanitarian aid”, according to the Saudi Foreign Ministry.
Heavy artillery shelling was heard in Khartoum and the twin city of Omdurman, where “fire from anti-aircraft batteries” responded to “air strikes”.
Shootings with “various types of weapons” were reported in Al-Hawa Street, in the south of the capital as well as in the eastern suburbs, also hit “by air raids”, according to residents.
“Shoulders landed in the homes of civilians”, reports a “resistance committee” from the south of the capital, one of the militant cells which organize mutual aid between the inhabitants.
The last truce, generally respected, had allowed the inhabitants of Khartoum to take advantage of a respite to get supplies or flee the capital, plagued since April 15 by an armed conflict which has led to a serious humanitarian crisis.
For the fifth consecutive day, clouds of smoke emerged on Sunday from the tanks of the Al-Shajara oil installation, near the Yarmouk military factory in Khartoum.
The fighting is mainly in Khartoum and the vast Darfur region of western Sudan, where NGOs report a deteriorating humanitarian situation.
On Friday, the head of the delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Sudan, Alfonso Verdu Perez, lamented that “only 20% of health establishments are still functioning in Khartoum”.
“In recent weeks, we have managed to deliver surgical equipment to ten hospitals” in the capital, “but the needs are immense and there is still a lot to do”, he added, pointing to serious water shortages , electricity, food and medical supplies.
The conflict opposes the army commanded by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhane, the de facto ruler of Sudan, and the paramilitaries of the Rapid Support Forces (FSR) of General Mohamed Hamdane Daglo, his deputy who has become his rival.
Previous truces had generally been violated as soon as they came into effect.
The war between the two generals, struggling for power after jointly carrying out a putsch in 2021, has already claimed more than 1,800 lives, according to the organization ACLED, which specializes in collecting information in conflict zones, as well as two million displaced persons and refugees according to the United Nations.
Visiting Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, the head of American diplomacy, Antony Blinken, assured that Washington and Riyadh were committed to “continuing their solid cooperation and putting an end to the fighting in Sudan”.
Egypt, bordering Sudan in the north, announced on Saturday the tightening of formalities for entering its territory for Sudanese fleeing the war.
Since the start of the conflict, more than 200,000 Sudanese have entered Egypt, most of them by land.
These measures are not intended to “prevent or limit the number of Sudanese citizens entering” Egyptian territory, but rather to put an end to the “illegal activities of individuals and groups on the Sudanese side of the border, who falsify entry” for profit, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry explained.