Gunfire, Explosions Rock Sudan’s Capital

Sunday, April 16, 2023 | Tag Cloud Tags:

By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News

KHARTOUM (Worthy News) – The leaders of Sudan’s army and paramilitary group, the Rapid Support Forces (RSD), agreed Sunday to a temporary ceasefire after two days of fighting that killed at least scores of people, including aid workers.

Earlier gunfire and explosions were heard in the Sudanese capital Khartoum as a power struggle between the army and paramilitaries escalated, potentially adding more pressure on minority Christians.

Christian advocacy group Open Doors has said that persecution of Christians remains high in Sudan, and there were fears this will worsen amid the ongoing unrest.

As turmoil spread, the World Food Programme temporarily halted humanitarian work in Sudan, saying three of its staff had been killed.

The deaths reportedly happened during violence in Kabkabiya in the North Darfur region, and two other workers were injured.

Sunday’s four-hour “humanitarian” window and a ceasefire agreed upon by the warring factions was to allow the evacuation of the wounded after clashes began across the vast African country.

Sudan’s doctors’ union said at least 57 people were killed due to the fighting which broke out on Saturday, but the actual death toll was believed to be substantially higher.


The RSF says it controls critical sites in the capital, including the presidential palace, the army chief’s residence, the state television station, and airports in Khartoum. It also claims to control the northern city of Merowe, El Fasher, and West Darfur state. But Sudan’s leader – and head of the military – rejected its claim

This weekend’s battles followed reported rising tensions over the proposed integration of the RSF into the military.

The disagreement delayed the signing of an internationally backed agreement with political parties on a transition to democracy.

A coalition of civilian groups that signed a draft of that agreement in December called on Saturday for an immediate halt to hostilities to stop Sudan from sliding towards “total collapse.”

The African Union, leading Arab states, and the United States have also called for an end to the fighting and a resumption of talks to restore a civilian government.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the situation in Sudan was “fragile” but insisted there was still an opportunity to complete a transition to a civilian-led government.

“Fighting between [Sudanese Armed Forces] SAF and RSF forces threatens the security and safety of Sudanese civilians and undermines efforts to restore Sudan’s democratic transition,” he wrote on the social networking site Twitter.


“The only way forward is to return to negotiations,” Blinken added.

However, that wasn’t easy in Sudan, where military regimes favoring Islamic-oriented governments have dominated national politics since the country gained independence from the Anglo-Egyptian co-rule in 1956.

The 30-year reign of President Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir ended with the military forcing him out in April 2019 following months of nationwide protests.

Eventually, a civilian-led transitional government was to lead the country toward democratic elections in late 2022, but a military takeover in October 2021 ended the process.

As of March 2022, General Abd-al-Fatah al-Burhan Abd-al-Rahman serves as de facto head of state and government.

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