Smoke rises above buildings during ongoing skirmish between Sudanese army and paramilitaries of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) in Khartoum, Sudan, 18 April 2023. EFE-EPA/STRINGER

Clashes continue in Sudan for fifth day despite truce

Khartoum, Apr 19 (EFE).- Clashes between the Sudanese Army and the Rapid Support Forces paramilitary group continued Wednesday for the fifth consecutive day despite a 24-hour truce, with both sides accusing the other of breaking the ceasefire.

According to media and witnesses, combats and shootings occurred Wednesday morning, especially in the vicinity of the General Command of the Armed Forces, and the Presidential Palace, in the center of the capital, where there have been heavy combats since the beginning of the clashes.

Columns of dense smoke have also risen since the early hours of the day in the Khartoum International Airport area, which military sources attributed to a fire caused by a paramilitary attack against aircraft fuel stores at an airfield.

Sudanese people walk with empty bottles and jerrycans while looking for drinking water after supplies were affected due to the ongoing fighting between Sudanese army and paramilitaries of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) in Khartoum, Sudan, 18 April 2023. EFE/EPA/STRINGER

Eyewitnesses told EFE that army planes also bombed a paramilitary base Wednesday in the Kafuri neighborhood, north of Khartoum.

Both the army and the paramilitaries have been accused of breaching the truce, which came into force at 6pm local time (4:00 p.m. GMT) on Tuesday since fighting began Saturday, as well as attacking civilian facilities, including medical centers and markets in the capital and other regions.

Army Spokesman Col. Nabil Abdullah, once again accused “rebel forces” of the paramilitary of breaking the truce, and of “moving in small groups without leadership or plan” and “carrying out looting operations in some neighborhoods of the capital and in the city of Merowe.” This allegedly occurred in the north of the country and on the border with Egypt.

He also said that “for the fifth consecutive day these rebel groups attacked the General Command (…) but they have been defeated and have suffered significant casualties, in addition to the destruction of several combat vehicles,” said the spokesman, quoted by Sudanese state television.

“It has been easy from the beginning to bomb the concentrations of these rebel forces in the center of Khartoum and eliminate the rebellion in hours, but the armed forces cannot put the lives of the population at stake,” the spokesman added, again calling on paramilitary troops to surrender.

The paramilitaries said the army attacked our troops “with heavy weapons from the first hours of the truce, while the planes continued to attack civilian complexes, including hospitals,” as well as “water and electricity supply stations.”

For their part, health sources warned about the serious humanitarian situation in the country and warned that more than half of the hospitals in Khartoum and neighboring states are out of service, while the rest are at risk of closure due to lack of medical personnel and supplies due to fighting.

At least 270 people have been killed and more than 2,000 injured in clashes between the Sudanese army and Rapid Support Forces paramilitaries, according to the World Health Organization. EFE