Smoke rises above buildings in Khartoum, Sudan, 15 April 2023. EFE/EPA/MOHND AWAD

At least 56 civilians killed, hundreds injured amid fierce fighting in Sudan

Khartoum, April 16 (EFE).- Fierce fighting between Sudan’s army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Force (RSF) has continued into Sunday and left at least 56 civilians dead and hundreds injured across the country, according to the Central Committee of Sudan Doctors (CCSD).

In addition to the civilian deaths, at least 595 people have been injured, including at least two military personnel, and “dozens” of the injured are in critical condition, the organization said.

It warned that these figures were recorded within hospitals and health centers under its jurisdiction only, so the figures could rise considerably.

There are also casualties among civilians who could not reach hospitals due to movement difficulties and the interception of ambulances and paramedics during the fighting, the CCSD added.

Khartoum, where the sound of gunfire and heavy artillery could be heard Sunday, accounted for the most casualties, with 25 fatalities and more than 300 injured, it said.

The CCSD called for an immediate ceasefire and the opening of safe humanitarian corridors for the evacuations of those injured or trapped.

The fighting began Saturday when the RSF – a collective of militia – accused the Sudanese army of launching an attack against one of its bases in Khartoum, while the Armed Forces said that they did so in response to an attack that the RSF had previously carried out in the Sudanese capital.

Both the army and the RSF claim to have seized the presidential palace, Khartoum International Airport and other key sites in the capital.

The RSF, which developed from the Janjaweed militias accused of committing crimes against humanity during the 2003-2008 Darfur conflict, has emerged as a rival to the army since the toppling of former dictator Omar al-Bashir in 2019.

Lt. Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, known as Hemedti, leads the RSF and is vice president of the transitional Sovereignty Council that took charge following the ouster of Bashir.

The army commander, Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, seized control of the Sovereignty Council in October 2021 and has yet to establish a timetable for a return to civilian rule.

The outbreak of violence has occurred in the midst of negotiations to reach a definitive political agreement that would return the country to civilian rule and lead Sudan to a democratic transition, a pact whose signing has been postponed twice this month because of the tensions and rivalries between the army and the RSF. EFE