Khartoum / Omdurman — Air and artillery bombardment continued yesterday morning as army aircraft continued to fly over Khartoum and Omdurman on the 51st day of the war. Plumes of smoke could be seen across the cities. The state’s water supply is in danger as the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) took control of four water stations.
Residents in the southern and eastern neighbourhoods of Khartoum and Khartoum North (Bahri) reported artillery and shooting this morning.
Bashir El Sadig, a resident of Khartoum, told Radio Dabanga that the area of shelling has expanded to include large parts of the capital. The army’s use of heavy weapons has escalated as well, increasing the suffering of civilians and destroying residential areas.
Overnight and this morning, the army fired heavy artillery in Omdurman from the location of the Army Corps of Engineers base to El Mowailih in West Omdurman and the Rapid Support Forces base in Salah.
A local resident told news outlet Reuters that his neighbourhood “has become a war zone. There are fierce clashes and strikes all around us because our house is next to the Engineers’ Corps”.
Residents also expressed fear of looting. There are many reports of plundering and looting, including by RSF officers.
At least 16 people were injured in shelling in El Sahafa neighbourhood in Khartoum.
Several civilians were killed and wounded by aerial bombardment and artillery shelling in several areas of Khartoum on Sunday as well, when the RSF announced that it took down an MiG warplane.
The SAF army released a video in which it announced the control of the Nujumi air base in Jebel Aulia locality in Khartoum on Sunday. Both parties are known to spread (often contradicting) propaganda on social media.
The army was able to defend its engineers’ corps base in Omdurman but the RSF are said to have most of Khartoum under their control at the moment.
El Sadig explained that there are ongoing outages and cuts in water supply, electricity, and communication services across Khartoum. Basic commodities are scarce, causing prices to rise on a daily basis.
Residents of Omdurman told Radio Dabanga that people are forced to flee from Khartoum North (Bahri) and Khartoum to Omdurman due to water cuts in the cities as the RSF now control four water stations in Khartoum, including the one in Muqrin station since Sunday.
The RSF’s takeover of the Beit El Mal water station, however, will lead to a lack of water in large parts of Omdurman as well.
The Khartoum State Water Authority condemned the RSF takeover of the Soba water station and the arrest of its workers yesterday.
The Bahri and Beit El Mal water stations had already stopped working after earlier takeovers. This means that the four main water stations on which large parts of Khartoum state depend are out of use, the authority explained.
Most residents were forced to leave Khartoum North due to the water cuts. More than 1.2 million people have been forced out of Sudan’s capital and other cities by the fighting.
People in Omdurman also spoke of dire humanitarian conditions as violence is escalating and displaced from Khartoum and Khartoum North arrive.
A resident of central Omdurman told Radio Dabanga that food and medical supplies were not available. Pharmacies and shops are running out of stock and people are scared to leave the house.
Activists who distributed medicines are unable to move across the city due to the ongoing air and artillery bombardments.
Rains and trauma
El Sadig said that the recent rainfall, in combination with the fighting, has exacerbated the suffering of civilians, who might now be subjected to electric shocks as electrical wires have been damaged and can be found on the ground.
The displaced in shelters in different cities suffer from the rains as well. Most displaced people live in tents and other makeshift shelters, which are not waterproof.
Those who sought refuge abroad or elsewhere in Sudan and who were expecting the war to end after a short period also suffer from psychological conditions, El Sadig explained.
Fighting also continued in various areas in Darfur and in North Kordofan, around El Obeid.