Sudan army bombs Khartoum refinery

Still from footage shared online seemingly showing El Jeili refinery in Khartoum set ablaze following a SAF airstrike, on May 22 (Source: @El_manshar via X)

On Tuesday night, the Sudanese Air Force reportedly bombed the El Jeili refinery, northeast of Khartoum, which was under control of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) since the start of the war in April 2023. Video clips shared online showed rising flames and columns of smoke from the site of the refinery.

In a post on X (formerly Twitter) on Wednesday morning, the RSF accused the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) of bombing the El Jeili refinery, north of Khartoum with barrel bombs and “completely destroying it”. “This act seems to be an attempt to compensate for their repeated defeats across our country.”

The SAF did not issue any comment about the bombing of the refinery. Footage allegedly showing the refinery in flames was widely shared by social media users on X on Wednesday morning.

The Radio Dabanga team was not able to verify the authenticity of the videos. It was also not possible to obtain an immediate comment from the SAF spokesperson.

In an interview with Dabanga, journalist and economic analyst Kamal Karrar estimated the losses from the bombing of the El Jeili oil refinery at $4 billion. He noted that the Ministry of Petroleum estimated the oil sector’s losses within a year of the war’s outbreak at $5 billion, bringing the total to $9 billion.

Karrar ruled out re-establishing the refinery, “whether through loans or insurance contributions”, and predicted a continuing oil and economic crisis for Sudan. He considered the bombing of the refinery a war crime and a clear violation of international humanitarian law.

The RSF took control of the El Jeili oil refinery days after the war began in mid-April last year. The refinery is located 70 kilometres north of the capital, on the eastern side of the Atbara-Khartoum road.

The refinery was earlier targeted by the SAF, on November 8 of last year.