Sudan – Fierce Battles Underway in Khartoum, Omdurman
Heavy air attacks and clashes were witnessed in several major Sudanese cities, as the UN warned more people will go hungry amid a prolonged conflict.
Fighting in Sudan raged in the capital Khartoum on Wednesday, with battles between the Sudanese Army and rival Rapid Support Forces (RSF) also taking place in nearby Omdurman and Bahri.
The army led by Abdel-Fattah Burhan has been using air strikes since Tuesday to weed out the RSF from these three cities. The RSF, led by Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo, has pressed on with its counterinsurgency against the government.
According to the US-based Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project, over 750 people have died from the violence in Sudan, with more than 5,000 people also having been injured.
Reports of tribal fighting amid dire hunger warnings
The Sudanese Medical Committee reported fighting in Kosti, located about 300 kilometers (186 miles) south of the capital.
Sudanese local media reports said Wednesday that 25 people have died in southern Sudan amid tribal clashes. It’s unclear whether that violence is connected to the conflict between the Army and RSF.
The UN World Food Programme (WFP) warned Wednesday that a prolonged conflict may result in millions more going hungry in Sudan. The WFP said “an additional 2-2.5 million people in Sudan” are expected to go hungry in the next months amid rising food insecurity.
WFP executive director Cindy McCain said the delivery of aid to Sudan has been difficult, with WFP offices being looted and nearly 25% of WFP food being stolen.
Could talks in Jeddah bear fruit?
Meanwhile, political talks between the two sides continued in Saudi Arabia, with the US saying it is “cautiously optimistic” that a temporary humanitarian truce would be reached.
“Our goal for these talks has been very narrowly focused first on securing agreement on a declaration of humanitarian principles and then getting a cease-fire that is long enough to faciliate the steady delivery of badly needed services,” State Department official Victoria Nuland told lawmakers in the US Senate.
The talks in the Saudi port city of Jeddah are the first since fighting first broke out in Sudan on April 15. The crisis in Sudan poses major risks for other countries in the Sahel region, such as neighboring Chad.
(Reuters, AP, AFP, dpa)