Continuous shelling in Khartoum and Omdurman kills at least 11 in ‘fiercest battles yet’

Drinking water shortages occurred in Khartoum only days after the fighting started in April 2023 (Faiz Abubakr)

Yesterday morning, the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) launched a fierce attack on army positions east of El Shajara neighbourhood in western Khartoum and the armoured corps base in El Mohandesin in Omdurman. Simultaneously, the army conducted airstrikes on RSF targets in southern Khartoum. At least 11 civilians, including three children, lost their lives yesterday due to the shelling in Khartoum and Omdurman.

Residents of El Shajara described the battles in the area to Radio Dabanga as “the fiercest ones yet”, adding that large explosions were heard in the vicinity of Jabra as the RSF attacked army positions in the neighbourhood and surrounding areas.

The RSF’s advance towards El Lamab, north of El Shajara, prompted residents to flee their homes. Several injuries due to indiscriminate shooting were reported.

Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) spokesperson Brig Gen Nabil Abdallah said that “the SAF targeted RSF bases in El Shajara and Khartoum on Saturday, successfully eliminating numerous RSF fighters and destroying several vehicles”.

He refuted allegations that Ukrainian experts arrived in the country to maintain warplanes for the Sudanese air force.

The air force also bombarded RSF bases in El Medina El Riyadiya, south of Arkaweet, and other areas in the vicinity.

Six people, including two children, lost their lives when two shells hit El Salama Block 1 in southern Khartoum.

Residents in El Deyoum El Shargiya, El Sahafa, and El Ushara in southern Khartoum reported ongoing violent explosions. They said that another three civilians, including a child, were killed when a shell hit their house in the El Deyoum El Shargiya neighbourhood.

Khartoum’s Southern Belt, part of the periphery of Khartoum inhabited by people displaced by wars in Darfur and Kordofan and South Sudanese refugees, also witnessed continuous heavy artillery sounds.

Other sources reported that columns of smoke were seen rising from Khartoum North (Khartoum Bahri).

Destruction in El Salha neighbourhood, Omdurman, last week (Photo: Social media)

Omdurman fighting

Reports from Omdurman indicate violent clashes in the vicinity of El Mohandesin Armoured Corps, and exchanges of artillery fire in the western and eastern areas of Omdurman.

Residents told Radio Dabanga that “the sounds of battle and heavy artillery reverberated throughout the neighbourhoods of El Sawrat and old Omdurman”.

Two people lost their lives in the Karari El Balad neighbourhood, southeast of Wadi Sedna military base, due to artillery shelling.

Public services

Residents of El Gamayer neighbourhood in the northern part of old Omdurman voiced concerns about a 12-day water supply interruption and shortages of essential goods.

“The water station in the neighbourhood is out of order, and the alternative, water commercially sold by owners of donkey carts, is very expensive. Moreover, the carts have not been able to enter the neighbourhood for 12 days because of the continued fighting,” one resident told Radio Dabanga.

“The price of a water yoke from a water cart surged to 500 Sudanese pounds due to scarcity”, he said. Water access is a challenge as donkey cart owners struggle to enter the neighbourhood.

عربات الكارو تنقل  تبيع المياه للمواطنين في أمدرمان - المصدر:فيسبوك
Donkey carts selling water in Omdurman, where the water supply was interrupted for nearly two weeks (Photo: RD)

Battles, artillery fire, and aerial bombardment persist in El Gamayer, where RSF soldiers are entrenched in the neighbourhoods, leading people to leave the neighbourhood. “There are many empty houses”, one resident said. Most of the residents have left, after they were forced to evacuate their houses two weeks ago.

Shops also face shortages. “Cooking oil, sugar, flour and laundry soap have become unavailable,” the local resident told Radio Dabanga.

The power supply returned to service in El Gamayer on Friday after a five-day outage, he said. “So, [telecommunications networks] Zain and Sudani returned as well, but the MTN network services continue to fluctuate.”

The Old Omdurman Resistance Committees announced that electricity was restored to the area after a 12-day outage, following the successful maintenance of the Eisa Mersal transformer, covering part of Wad Nubawi, El Sharafiya, and El Gamayer neighbourhoods.

In southwest Khartoum, electricity was restored to the neighbourhoods of the densely populated El Kalaklat, including the still-operating Turkish Hospital, after a blackout of more than ten days.