The sound of explosions and the sound of clashes shook the walls of houses in Khartoum, as battles continued between the army and the Rapid Support Forces, according to witnesses told AFP, who feared that residents of the Sudanese capital would be under a “complete siege”.
For the eighth week in a row, battles continue between the army led by Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and the Rapid Support Forces led by Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, with relief organizations warning of a “massive humanitarian crisis” in Sudan.
Residents of the capital reported that “clashes with all kinds of weapons took place in the south of Khartoum,” where citizens heard “sounds of explosions that shook the walls of houses.”
Others also confirmed hearing “the sounds of heavy artillery shelling from army centers in the north of Omdurman,” northwest of the capital.
In addition, witnesses on Tuti Island, located at the confluence of the White and Blue Niles in central Khartoum, said that the support forces prevented the residents of the island from crossing the bridge linking it to the center of the capital, Khartoum, and also prevented them from using the crossing boats to the suburb of Bahri.
“This is a complete blockade. If it continues for days, the stores will run out of food,” said Mohamed Youssef, a resident of the island, whose population is estimated at about 30,000.
“It is no longer possible to transfer any patient to a hospital outside the island,” which is served by a small health center, he told AFP.
The fighting that broke out on April 15 has killed more than 1,800 people, according to the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project. However, the actual number of victims may be much higher, according to aid agencies and international organizations.
The five million residents of the capital, like other residents of the country, have suffered from a sharp decline in the level of services and foodstuffs since the start of the conflict. It is estimated that hundreds of thousands of them left Khartoum.
The war caused the displacement of more than one and a half million people, including 425 thousand who sought refuge in neighboring countries.
The United Nations confirms that 25 million people, more than half of Sudan’s population, are now in need of assistance and protection.
‘Getting worse’ crisis
Both sides of the fighting have not fulfilled repeated pledges of a ceasefire that would allow civilians to leave the fighting areas or provide safe passages for the entry of relief aid.
Humanitarian organizations repeatedly warn of the seriousness of the humanitarian situation in Sudan, which was considered one of the poorest countries in the world even before the outbreak of the recent battles.
“We are facing a massive humanitarian crisis that is getting worse with the collapse of the economy and the healthcare system,” Pierre Kremer, Deputy Regional Director for Africa of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, told reporters in Geneva.
He warned that the challenges will increase with “the approaching flood season, the looming hunger crisis and the spread of diseases that may become more inevitable.”
In June, the rainy season begins in Sudan, and medical and relief workers have warned that it may isolate parts of the country and increase the risk of outbreaks of epidemics and diseases such as malaria and cholera.
The office of the United Nations Integrated Transitional Support Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS) warned on Monday that the situation in and around the Sudanese capital “is still … a matter of great concern.”
He also pointed out that the situation in the western Darfur region “continues to deteriorate,” stressing that human rights officials “are currently documenting dozens of incidents, including killings, arrests, possible disappearances, attacks on hospitals, sexual violence and other grave violations against children committed by parties to the conflict.” dispute”.
Although the two sides concluded more than one armistice during the last period, they always exchanged accusations of violating each of them. Last week witnessed the suspension of talks hosted by the city of Jeddah, with Saudi-American mediation, after the army withdrew from it.
However, Saudi Arabia and the United States, whose Secretary of State Anthony Blinken is visiting the Kingdom on Tuesday, called on Sunday to return to the negotiating table to reach a new ceasefire.
On Tuesday, the Sudanese Sovereignty Council reported that Al-Burhan had received a phone call from Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan.
And while Al-Burhan affirmed “confidence in the Jeddah platform, which leads to sustainable peace,” he renewed the need for “the commitment of the rebels to leave hospitals, service centers, and citizens’ homes, evacuate the wounded, and open paths for providing humanitarian aid so that the Jeddah platform achieves its success.”
This comes two days after the Support Forces announced that Daglo had received a call from Bin Farhan, in which he also affirmed “our support for the Jeddah platform.”