UPDATED: Street battles raged in Sudan’s capital Khartoum and several other cities between the Sudanese Army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), for the ninth day.
According to Sudan’s health ministry, the deadly clashes have left at least 424 people killed and about 3,730 wounded by Saturday.
The Sudanese army on Friday said that it seized control of the army’s general command in central Khartoum after seven days of clashes with RSF.
Video clips released by the Sudanese army showed army forces celebrating in front of the main headquarters of the general command.
“We are celebrating in front of the general command the expulsion of the militia and we are ready to expel them from all areas of their presence,” said the force’s commander to his soldiers in front of the general command.
Meanwhile, eyewitnesses said the fighting has moved to areas south of the capital Khartoum, with a cautious calm in the centre of the capital city.
Both parties have been trading claims of victory, however, the Sudanese Army has been gaining the upper hand. The army said on Monday said that they had limited clashes with the RSF around the perimeter of the army’s General Command and the centre of Khartoum.
The commander of the RSF, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, who is known as Hemedti, on Monday urged the international community to intervene to stop what he termed as “crimes of Sudanese army commander.”
“The international community must take action now and intervene against the crimes of Sudanese General Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, a radical Islamist who is bombing civilians from the air,” Dagalo said on his Twitter account on Monday.
“The army is waging a brutal campaign against the innocent, bombing them with missiles,” he added.
He also denied that his forces initiated the fighting with the Sudanese army. “We did not attack anyone. Our actions are merely a response to the siege and assault against our force,” he said.
On Sunday morning, warplanes carried out attacks on an RSF base in Omdurman, near the capital Khartoum. Also, the army toured the streets of the eastern city of Port Sudan after defeating the Rapid Support Forces there and assuming control of the city. They can be heard saying “Where is the RSF?”
The army started to gain the upper hand on Sunday utilizing their airforce to strike RSF bases. On Sunday, the army announced that it restored control over the Merowe military base and airport, and several other sites previously controlled by RSF.
“The hour of victory is near,” the army added in the statement on Sunday. “We will have good news for our patient and proud people soon, God willing.”
In the capital, witnesses told Reuters that the army had also wrested back control over much of Khartoum’s presidential palace from the RSF after both sides claimed to control it and other key installations in Khartoum, where heavy artillery and gun battles raged into Sunday.
“We will not stop fighting until we capture all the army bases and the honourable members of the armed forces join us,” Hemedti told Al Jazeera.
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.
Fighting started on Saturday 15 April. The army has previously warned against the RSF deployment in Khartoum and other cities without its approval. The tension between the two military forces has escalated since Wednesday in the Merowe region in northern Sudan, after the RSF moved military vehicles to a location near the military air base there, a move that the army considered illegal.
At the first day of fighting, the 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.
The Sudanese presidential palace and military headquarters are under army control, army leader, Gen. Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, said Saturday.
In the country’s east, fighting erupted near the cities of Qadarif and Kassala. The Army posted a video on Facebook on Sunday showing its troops at the entrance of the Rapid Support Forces headquarters in Qadarif,
The Sudanese airforce is conducting operations against the RSF, the army said. Viral videos showed military aircrafts in the sky above Khartoum, and one striking an RSF base. Another video showed multiple helicopters flying over the capital.
Fighting continued into the night as residents said they still heard the sounds of gunfire and explosions in different parts of Khartoum, including around the military’s headquarters and other bases.
US evacuates American diplomatic personnel from Sudan
US President Joe Biden on Saturday said that US government personnel had been evacuated from Sudan.
“Today, on my orders, the United States military conducted an operation to extract US government personnel from Khartoum,” Biden said in a statement.
Egypt evacuates 436 nationals, diplomatic mission stays to contine evacuations
Egypt evacuated on Sunday 436 Egyptian nationals via land in coordination with the Sudanese authorities.
The Egyptian diplomatic missions in Khartoum, Port Sudan, and Wadi Halfa area will continue to coordinate with the Egyptian nationals in Sudan to secure their evacuation.
UK diplomats evacuated from Khartoum, Sunak thanks Egypt for support in the operation
British diplomats and their families have been evacuated from Sudan in a “complex and rapid” operation, UK’s Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has confirmed.
The Prime Minister spoke to the Egyptian President, Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, and thanked President Sisi for Egypt’s support in the operation to evacuate British embassy staff from Khartoum, and they discussed further options for ensuring safe passage for civilians wanting to leave Sudan.
Egyptian embassy staff member injured
A staff member of the Egyptian embassy in Sudan’s capital Khartoum was injured by a gunshot in the country’s recent military clashes, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said on Sunday.
Saudi Arabia evacuates nationals, foreigners
Saudi Foreign Ministry announced on Saturday the evacuation of Saudi citizens and other nationals from Sudan as fierce fighting continues in the country.
A total of 158 people, including Saudi nationals and people from other countries, have been evacuated from Sudan and transferred to Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah ports by boat, the Saudi state television said.
American and British troops deploy close to Sudan ahead of possible evacuation
US and British troops are being moved close to Sudan amid growing speculation they could be involved in some sort of evacuation or rescue of Western nationals trapped in the country by the outbreak of fighting a week ago.
Lloyd Austin, the US defence secretary, said on Friday afternoon that the US had deployed military forces “in theatre” – meaning in countries relatively close to Sudan – to give the White House choices as to how to proceed, with 19,000 US citizens estimated as being stuck in the country.
“Our focus is to make sure that we continue to do the planning, that we create and maintain as many options for our president as possible,” he said at a press conference in Ramstein, Germany.
British officials told The Guardian that the UK’s Ministry of Defence was also engaged in “prudent planning.” However, they did not elaborate on the possible course of action.
Some units from the British army were being readied in case they would be needed, but any action that would involve the UK and other countries would almost certainly take place in conjunction with the US, The Guardian reported.
However, a US source indicated that troops might only be deployed to facilitate the departure of US embassy personnel and cautioned that due to the uncertain security situation in Khartoum, other Americans in the country should not expect a wider US government-coordinated evacuation at this time.
Kenya offers to host mediation process
Kenyan President William Ruto on Friday offered to host a process of mediation between warring parties in Sudan to help restore peace in the country.
In a statement issued in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi, Ruto said Kenya has a strong track record in effectively facilitating peacemaking and settlement of the political conflict in the region.
“We make this offer in the spirit of brotherhood, peace, and solidarity as an acceptable neutral venue and also as an engaged stakeholder well-seized with the challenges facing our region,” said Ruto.
He said Kenya is strongly persuaded that a peacefully negotiated solution to the conflict in Sudan is within reach and, as always, stands ready to make her contribution.
Egyptian embassy in Khartoum received remaining troops
The remaining Egyptian soldiers that have been held in Sudan have arrived safely at Egypt’s embassy in the capital Khartoum.
In a Thursday statement, the Egyptian Armed Forces spokesperson said that this was done in cooperation with all security agencies in Egypt and Sudan to ensure the return of the Egyptian troops that were participating in joint training with the Sudanese army.
On Wednesday night, Egypt has given Mohamed Hamdan Dagolo, better known as Hemedti, the leader of Sudan’s paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) a 72-hour ultimatum to return Egyptian troops held in Sudan, DNE reported.
The army spokesperson indicated that on Wednesday, three Egyptian transport evacuated the first batch of Egyptian troops, through three successive flights to an Egyptian military base in Cairo.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to attend virtual meeting on Sudan Thursday
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is scheduled to attend a virtual meeting on Sudan on Thursday, a UN spokesman said.
The meeting will bring together the chairperson of the African Union, the secretary-general of the Arab League, the executive secretary of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, and other relevant organizations, Stephane Dujarric, the spokesman for Guterres, told reporters on Wednesday.
Arab League urges Sudanese parties to cease fire during Eid holiday
Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul-Gheit called on conflicting Sudanese parties to cease fire during the upcoming Eid Al-Fitr (festival of breaking the fast) holiday that follows the holy month of Ramadan.
Army and RSF agree on 24-hour ceasefire
Both Sudan’s army and the RSF on Tuesday announced that they accepted an international initiative for a truce to stop the clashes with the Sudanese army for 24 hours for humanitarian reasons.
“A 24-hour truce has been accepted after communication with friendly countries and the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken,” Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, the RSF commander, said on his Twitter account on Tuesday.
Lieutenant General Shams El-Din Kabbashi, a top military officer in the Sudanese army and a member of the Sudanese Transitional Sovereignty Council, told Al-Arabiya that General Command of the Armed Forces agreed to the ceasefire on the condition that the movements of RSF be monitored.
OCHA says worsening fighting in Sudan limiting humanitarian operations
In a worsening situation, fighting across Sudan severely limits humanitarian operations, UN humanitarians said on Tuesday.
“There is limited ability to move personnel and supplies,” the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said. “The targeting and looting of humanitarian premises must stop. Attacks on humanitarian assets and facilities will severely impact our ability to resume lifesaving operations.”
Egypt expands flights halt to Sudan amid unrest
Egypt’s flag carrier EgyptAir on Tuesday said it will continue the suspension of its flight to and from Sudan’s Khartoum International Airport due to the continuous instability in Sudan.
In a statement, EgyptAir said, “the suspension will continue until further notice.”
Blinken confirms attack on US diplomats
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken confirmed that a US diplomatic convoy came under attack on Monday in Sudan’s capital.
“All of our people are safe,” Blinken said at a news conference on Tuesday in Karuizawa, Japan, where he was attending a G7 meeting.
He indicated that the US is investigating the incident, and that initial reports indicated that the assailants might have been tied to the Rapid Support Forces.
Sudanese Foreign Ministry accuses RSF of attacking diplomats
Sudan’s Foreign Ministry on Tuesday accused the RSF of attacking the headquarters of diplomatic missions in the capital Khartoum.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs expresses its deep regret and discontent over the rebel Rapid Support Forces’ illegal and immoral attacks on diplomatic headquarters and missions,” the ministry said in a statement.
“The desperate moves by the rebel Rapid Support Forces with armoured vehicles and heavy weapons among residential neighbourhoods and civilian places have put the headquarters and staff of diplomatic missions and international and regional organizations under imminent danger,” it said.
Egyptian President chairs SCAF meeting
Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi chaired a meeting of the Supreme Council of the Egyptian Armed Forces on Monday. The meeting discussed the situation of the Egyptian troops apprehended in Sudan.
Egyptian troops present in Sudan for training purposes only and not to support any party, the president stated. He stressed that the situation in Sudan is an internal matter and Egypt’s position is consistent in non interfering in countries internal affairs.
“Our troops there are safe and we have confirmed their wellbeing,” Al-Sisi indicated.
He added that Egypt is in constant communication with the warring parties in Sudan in a bid to reach a solution and de-escalate the situation.
EU Amassador in Khartoum “assaulted”
The High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell said that the EU Ambassador in Sudan was assaulted in his own residency.
“This constitutes a gross violation of the Vienna Convention. Security of diplomatic premises and staff is a primary responsibility of Sudanese authorities and an obligation under international law,” he added.
UN relief chief calls for end of fighting in Sudan
Fighting in Sudan is a devastating setback for the people of the country and “must stop,” said the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator on Monday.
“I am deeply concerned by the mounting deaths and injuries, which will only increase further as fighting rages on in urban areas,” Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Martin Griffiths said.
UN chief concerned over military clashes
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres remains deeply concerned about the continued clashes between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces in Sudan, his spokesperson said Sunday.
Guterres strongly condemned the clashes that caused deaths and injuries of civilians, including the death of three staff members of the World Food Programme, with two others seriously injured. Those responsible should be brought to justice without delay, said Stephane Dujarric in a statement.
The United Nations and other humanitarian premises have also been hit by projectiles and looted in several locations in the western Sudanese region of Darfur. The secretary-general reminded the parties of the need to respect international law, including the obligation to ensure the safety and security of all UN and associated personnel, their premises and their assets, the statement said.
Guterres reiterated his call for an immediate halt to the fighting and a return to dialogue, saying he will continue to engage with regional leaders and Sudanese stakeholders to find a way out of this crisis, it said.
Sudan’s former PM Hamdok say war will have no victor, no vanquished
Former Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok called for an immediate cease-fire between the Sudanese army and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF). He added that the war will have “no victor and no vanquished.”
Hamdkok stressed that there should be an immediate cease-fire and understandings leading to a permanent cessation of hostilities.
He called on the Arab, African, and brotherly countries to support his people, “who are going through tough humanitarian conditions.”
Hamdok said that he is not in favour of any foreign intervention in the country’s internal affairs, calling the international community to have a positive role in bringing the Sudanese to the negotiating table and helping Sudan in this plight.
Sudanese army agrees to open humanitarian passages for 3 hours
The Sudanese Army on Sunday said it agreed to a proposal by the United Nations to open safe passages for humanitarian cases, for a period of three hours, starting from 4:00 p.m. local time (1400 GMT).
“The Sudanese Armed Forces has agreed on a proposal by the United Nations to open safe passages for humanitarian cases, for three hours, starting from 4:00 p.m.,” the general command of the army said in a statement.
It said that the move “does not cancel the army’s right to respond to any violations by the rebel militia.”
Egypt, South Sudan President call for restraint
Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi received a phone call from his South Sudanese counterpart Salva Kiir, to discuss the latest developments in Sudan.
President Al-Sisi and President Kiir called on the Sudanese parties to calm down and give priority to the voice of wisdom and peaceful dialogue. The two presidents also express their readiness to mediate to end the conflict.
East African leaders call for immediate ceasefire
East African leaders on Sunday called for an immediate end to the ongoing fighting in Sudan where military clashes have killed at least 56 people and injured nearly 600 others.
The Kenyan Presidency said the leaders from the regional bloc, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), held an emergency virtual session on Sunday where they called for an immediate cessation of hostilities between the parties.
Those in the emergency session were President William Ruto of Kenya, Salva Kiir of South Sudan, Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, Ismail Omar Guelleh of Djibouti, and Hassan Sheikh Mohamud of Somalia.
WFP to halt humanitarian work after 3 employees killed
The head of the Rome-based United Nations World Food Program (WFP) said Sunday that the organization would temporarily halt its humanitarian activities in Sudan, a day after three employees were killed in the country.
WFP Executive Director Cindy McCain said she was “appalled and heartbroken” by the deaths, which took place in the Kabkabiya district of the North Darfur state.
In a statement, McCain confirmed reports that the workers were killed “while carrying out their lifesaving duties on the front lines of the global hunger crisis.” She also said two other WFP workers were injured in the same attack.
Egyptian Army spokesperson urges safety of personnel conducting training in Sudan
Also, the Egyptian Armed Forces said that it closely follows the situation in Sudan, in the framework of the presence of Egyptian forces to conduct joint training with their Sudanese counterparts. The Army spokesperson said that coordination is underway with the concerned authorities in Sudan to ensure the safety of these Egyptian troops.
RSF leader, Daglo said that the safety of the Egyptian troops is guaranteed and that they will be delivered to Egypt as soon as possible, in a telephone interview with Sky News Arabia.
Egypt’s President, UN Chief call for cessation of hostilities
gypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi and the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on all Sudanese parties to stop hostilities, restore calm, and start the dialogue to resolve the current crisis in a phone call on Saturday.
Al-Sisi expressed Egypt’s deep concern over the developments of the situation in Sudan, stressing seriousness of the negative impacts of these developments on the country’s stability.
Guterres affirmed his keenness to communicate with the Al-Sisi in light of the Egypt’s active and pivotal role in maintaining security and stability in the region, especially with regard to supporting the transitional path in Sudan.
UN, AU, Egypt and several countries express concern over Sudan’s fighting
Several countries, including Egypt, the US and UK, have urged their citizens to stay sheltered.
Egypt expressed on Saturday its great concern over the ongoing clashes, calling on all Sudanese parties to exercise utmost restraint, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
Egypt also urged all parties to protect the lives of the citizens and prioritize the higher interests of their nation.
The United Nations voiced concern on Friday over a possible escalation of tensions.
“What we’re seeing now is very concerning — these reports of a continued build-up and mobilization of various security forces. We’re seeing that in Khartoum. We’re seeing that in other cities in Sudan,” said Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
A calm situation and sustained commitment to democratic transition are essential as negotiations proceed, he told a daily press briefing.
“We, along with the African Union, with IGAD (the Intergovernmental Authority for Development) and the Trilateral Mechanism, are engaging all stakeholders to calm these tensions and secure a political agreement as soon as possible to see a return to a civilian-led transition,” he said.
Furthermore, African Union (AU) Commission issued a statement Saturday demanding a ceasefire in Sudan and calling for “the political and military parties to find a fair political solution to the crisis.”
Chairperson of the Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat called on the Rapid Support Forces paramilitaries in particular to stop the violence.
The statement said that the Mahamat is “following closely and with great concern the developments in the Republic of Sudan” and appeals to all parties,” and the Rapid Support Forces, in particular, to immediately stop the destruction of the country, the terrorization of its population, and the bloodshed during the last ten days of Ramadan.”
The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), an East African bloc, on Saturday, called on Sudanese warring parties to resolve differences through dialogue.
The Executive Secretary of the IGAD Workneh Gebeyehu is extremely alarmed by reports of fighting in different parts of Khartoum, between the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), an armed faction, and urges both sides to immediately cease fighting, de-escalate the situation, and resolve their differences through dialogue, said a statement from the IGAD.
“These reports of fighting will not only cause setbacks but will also cause serious instability and insecurity to Sudan and the region at large,” the statement further said.
Moreover, the Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul-Gheit on Saturday called for an immediate halt to the ongoing armed clashes between the Sudanese army and RSF.
In a statement, Aboul-Gheit expressed his shock and condemnation of the armed fighting, especially during the holy Muslim month of Ramadan, in the capital Khartoum and other areas.
The secretary-general also stressed the responsibility of the warring parties to preserve the security and safety of Sudanese civilians in the fighting areas and throughout the country.
He called for an immediate halt to the escalation and bloodshed, adding that the Arab League General Secretariat is ready to intervene with the warring parties to end the fight.
US State Secretary Antony Blinken said that he is deeply concerned about reports of escalating violence, adding that “we are in touch with the Embassy team in Khartoum – all are currently accounted for. We urge all actors to stop the violence immediately and avoid further escalations or troop mobilizations and continue talks to resolve outstanding issues.
Similarly, the UK’s Foreign minister called on Sudanese leadership to de-escalate the ongoing clashes between the army and paramilitary forces.
Leaders need to “restrain their troops,” Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said in a statement Saturday afternoon, adding that “military action will not resolve this situation.”
Clashes in Khartoum airport, airlines halt travel to Sudan
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.
Similarly, UAE’s national carriers Emirates, flydubai and Air Arabia have halted flights to and from Sudan due to the violent clashes between the Sudanese army and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF).
A satellite image shared by Black Sky from approximately 12 hours ago shows the damage to Khartoum International Airport, due to conflict from the past couple of days.
The company’s analysis indicates damage to both military and civilian aircraft.