Residents of the Sudanese capital Khartoum woke up on Wednesday to renewed artillery shelling and fighting as a three-day truce between the army and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) ended, while South Kordofan state has been the scene of heavy violence since the morning.
Witnesses said that at the end of the truce, an area north of Omdurman, northwest of the capital, saw “artillery shelling” while fighter jets flew overhead.
In southern Omdurman, others reported clashes with various types of weapons in the vicinity of the engineer’s corps.
In South Sudan, specifically South Kordofan state in Al-Dalanj city, a resident confirmed the sound of explosions, heavy gunfire and shells falling inside residential neighborhoods.
In El Geneina, the capital of West Darfur State and the most war-affected town, deserted streets are full of corpses while shops have been looted.
A fire broke out Tuesday on the last day of the truce at the intelligence headquarters in the capital, with an army source saying the RSF had shelled the building, in violation of the truce.
A source in the RSF responded by saying that an army drone bombed the building, where members of the RSF were gathered. He noted that the bombing “led to a fire and partial destruction of the intelligence headquarters.”
The fighting between the army led by Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and the RSF led by Mohammed Hamdan Daqlo (Hammedi) has resulted in more than 2,000 casualties, according to estimates that experts say are “far less than the reality”.
The United Nations (UN), the African Union (AU) and IGAD have warned that the conflict has “now taken on an ethnic dimension” and have raised the possibility of “crimes against humanity” in Darfur.
According to Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), “15,000 Sudanese, including some 900 wounded, fled to the town of Adré in Chad, which has received over 150,000 refugees so far, under a barrage of fire from the army, rapid support forces, tribal fighters and armed civilians.”
“Across Sudan, two million people have been displaced, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has counted 550,000 who have fled to neighboring countries.”
“At a meeting in Geneva on Monday, the international community pledged $1.5bn in aid, half of what humanitarian organizations need, according to field estimates.”
Twenty-five million people, more than half of Sudan’s population, depend on humanitarian assistance to survive in a country that is sinking into destruction and violence with “unprecedented” speed, according to the UN.
The World Food Program’s (WFP) country director for Sudan, Eddie Rao, also warned that “humanitarian needs have reached record levels at a time when there are no signs of an end to the conflict.”