Clashes Between Sudan Army and Paramilitary Forces Devastate Khartoum

Violent clashes erupt in Sudan's capital Khartoum between military forces, causing civilian casualties and destruction. Conflict threatens regional stability amid failed ceasefire attempts and foreign interference.

Hadeel Hashem
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Clashes Between Sudan Army and Paramilitary Forces Devastate Khartoum

Clashes Between Sudan Army and Paramilitary Forces Devastate Khartoum

Violent clashes erupted between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) in Khartoum, Sudan on April 24, 2024, causing significant civilian casualties and widespread destruction. The fighting has affected the entire capital region, including the adjoining cities of Bahri and Omdurman, with a total population of over 10 million. Air strikes, shelling, and gun battles have continued unabated, despite repeated promises of ceasefires.

The RSF has embedded itself in several neighborhoods, while the army has used air strikes and heavy artillery to try to force its rivals back. The violence has cut water and power to much of the city and damaged and closed hospitals, leaving many civilians trapped in their homes or stranded, risking theft and looting. The fighting is a result of the two forces that jointly staged a coup in 2021 now coming to blows over plans for an internationally backed transition to civilian rule.

The situation in Sudan has been described as one of the fastest unfolding crises globally, with the conflict between the SAF and RSF ongoing for over a year since it first erupted in April 2023. According to reports, thousands of people were forced to flee their homes, with half of them being children. The New York Times Pictures of the Day for April 24, 2024, captured the aftermath of the clashes, depicting the devastation and human suffering caused by the violence.

Why this matters: The ongoing civil war in Sudan has resulted in a humanitarian catastrophe, with over 14,000 deaths, millions displaced, and the country set back decades. The conflict also threatens to destabilize the entire region, with allegations of foreign interference fueling the violence.

The conflict has led to an exodus of people from Khartoum, with diplomatic convoys and foreign citizens being evacuated as the fighting abates slightly. The warring factions, led by SAF commander Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and RSF leader Mohamed Hamdan Daglo (Hemedti), disagree over the mode of transition, with Burhan favoring a quicker integration of the RSF into the military and Hemedti wanting a longer transition process. Numerous ceasefire attempts have failed, and the UN political chief, Rosemary DiCarlo, has condemned the continued flow of weapons from foreign supporters, which is violating UN sanctions.

Key Takeaways

  • Violent clashes between Sudanese forces in Khartoum, causing civilian casualties
  • Fighting results from 2021 coup leaders now fighting over transition to civilian rule
  • Conflict ongoing for over a year, thousands forced to flee, half being children
  • Humanitarian catastrophe, 14,000 deaths, millions displaced, region destabilized
  • Warring factions disagree on transition, ceasefire attempts fail, foreign weapons flow