More fighting in Khartoum as ceasefire is set to expire

Smoke rising from Khartoum, May 27 (Abd Almohimen Sayed)

KHARTOUM – May 29, 2023

Fighting between the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) continued in Omdurman and Khartoum North (Bahri) this weekend and today, on the last day of the truce.

The week-long ceasefire is set to expire this evening but it never led to an extensive pause in hostilities as clashes continued to ravage the capital, albeit with some moments of calm.

Residents reported hearing fierce clashes in Sudan’s capital this morning.

Yesterday, people living in the south-western part of Omdurman reported that they heard fighter jets of the SAF air force and anti-aircraft guns yesterday.

Other sources told Radio Dabanga about shelling by the SAF and RSF near the Halfaya Bridge in the north-western part of Khartoum North.

Residents are wondering what the ceasefire has meant in reality. “Since yesterday evening there has been bombardment with all types of weapons between the army and the Rapid Support. We’re in a state of great fear. Where’s the truce?” an Omdurman resident told Reuters today.

Another resident told The Guardian from Omdurman: “Is there a ceasefire? There’s none, that was just a talk … They will intensify the fighting until one side has won and they won’t care about people’s safety, God protect us”.

‘Is there a ceasefire? There’s none’

The RSF Command reportedly closed the Shambat Bridge, connecting Omdurman with the southern part of Khartoum North, with four containers yesterday, even though the bridge functions as their main supply line as they control both sides of the bridge.

According to El Sudani News, the move aims to prevent RSF soldiers from escaping war. Another analyst said that the RSF are preparing for heavier fighting in the week ahead.

On Saturday, Khartoum also witnessed battles despite the ceasefire agreement. The army was able to close the El Fitihab bridge between Khartoum and Omdurman and the RSF accused the army of bombing the coin minting facility in Khartoum after it was occupied by the RSF on Tuesday.

RSF in homes

Members of resistance committees in El Amarat, west of the Airport Road in Khartoum, reported “breaches of the armistice” in their neighbourhood as RSF troops refused to leave the homes they are occupying.

In a statement on social media yesterday, the committee said that the RSF “are still inside residential homes, schools, hospitals, and service facilities”. Last week, RSF paramilitaries raided more houses in the neighbourhood under the pretext of ‘looking for snipers’.

‘The RSF are still inside residential homes, schools, hospitals, and service facilities’

The committees accused the RSF of stealing vehicles, gold, money, and documents and of plundering shops.

A number of residents who wished to return to their homes were prevented from entering the neighbourhood and were harassed and intimidated.