The Sudanese capital Khartoum has been witnessing ongoing clashes between the army and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) since mid-April, as the conflict enters its eighth month.
Eyewitnesses reported hearing intermittent gunfire in the Old City of Omdurman and near the Corps of Engineers on Sunday. The army also launched air strikes on the RSF positions in the center and west of Khartoum.
The clashes intensified after the Shambat bridge, which connects the cities of Bahri and Omdurman, was destroyed on Saturday. Both sides blamed each other for the incident.
The UN has expressed alarm over the humanitarian and human rights situation in Sudan, especially in the Darfur region in the west, where ethnic violence has been rising.
Clementine Nkoita Salami, the top UN aid official in Sudan, said that violence against civilians in Sudan is “about to become an absolute evil”. She cited reports of sexual and gender-based violence, enforced disappearances, arbitrary detention, and gross violations of the rights of children.
She said that more than half of the population, about 25 million people, needs humanitarian assistance and protection, and more than six million have been displaced inside Sudan or to neighboring countries.
She also said that she received disturbing reports of increased violence and attacks on civilians, apparently on an ethnic basis, in Darfur.
Refugees fleeing to Chad said that there was a new surge of ethnically motivated killings in West Darfur after the RSF took over the main army base in El Geneina, the state capital.
The conflict between the army, led by Abdul Fattah al-Burhan, chairperson of the Sudanese Sovereign Council, and the RSF, led by Mohammed Hamdan Daglo “hemedti”, has resulted in more than 10,000 deaths, according to the organization “Euclid”, and the displacement and asylum of more than 6 million Sudanese, according to the UN.
The clashes have also paralyzed basic services in Sudan and destroyed entire neighborhoods in Khartoum and Darfur.