EgyptAir and Saudia announced Saturday the suspension of their flights with Sudan due to aviation safety concerns.
The Egyptian flag carrier said flights to and from the Khartoum International Airport would be grounded for 72 hours due to concerns over the security situation in the neighboring country, EgyptAir said in a statement.
The Saudi flagship airline meanwhile said all its flights to and from Sudan were suspended until further notice, Al Arabiya TV reported.
The decision was made after announcing that one of Saudia’s aircraft had an accident at the Khartoum airport, according to the report.
Heavy gunfire was heard in Khartoum earlier in the day as clashes erupted between the Sudanese army and its paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF).
We will not stop fighting until we capture all the army bases and the honourable members of the armed forces join us,” RSF leader Mohamed Hamdan Daglo who is known as Hemedti told Al Jazeera.
The army has previously warned against the RSF deployment in Khartoum and other cities without its approval.
Hemedti-led RSF claimed it has taken control of at least three airports, the army chief’s residence and the presidential palace. However, Daily News Egypt Sources in Khartoum have denied this information, saying the situation is still fluid and that the Sudanese army has taken several RSF bases.
Hemedti, a warlord whose RSF has its origins in the janjaweed militias implicated in alleged war crimes in Darfur in the 2000s, has emerged as a serious contender for power but has sought to brand himself as a defender of Sudan’s revolution and insists he is eager for the country to hold democratic elections.
The Sudanese presidential palace and military headquarters are under army control after clashes erupted with the paramilitary group Rapid Support Forces, the country’s military leader, Gen. Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, said Saturday.