The sounds of airstrikes, anti-aircraft guns and artillery could be heard in Khartoum early on Saturday and dark smoke rose over parts of the city as fighting in Sudan entered its third week.
Fighting between the army and rival paramilitary forces continued despite the announcement of a 72-hour ceasefire extension on Friday, as airstrikes, tanks and artillery rocked Khartoum and the nearby towns of Bahri and Ombdurman.
Hundreds of people have been killed and tens of thousands have fled for their lives in a power struggle between the military and the paramilitary Rapid Support Force (RSF), which erupted in violence on April 15 and disrupted an internationally-backed transition to democratic elections.
The fighting has also reignited two decades of conflict in the West Darfur region, where scores of people have died this week.
The army is deploying jets or drones on RSF troops in neighborhoods across the capital. Many residents are trapped in urban wars with food, fuel, water and energy shortages. At least 512 people were killed and nearly 4,200 injured, according to the United Nations, which believes the true number is much higher.
Many residents are trapped in urban wars
According to the UN, more than 75,000 people have been internally displaced in Sudan in the first week of fighting alone. Only 16% of hospitals in the capital were operating normally. The latest ceasefire brokered by foreign powers is set to last until midnight on Sunday.
The RSF accused the military of violating it with airstrikes on its bases in Omdurman, Khartoum’s sister city at the confluence of the Blue and White Nile rivers and Mount Awliya. The army accused the RSF of violations.
Convoy of buses carrying 300 Americans left Khartoum
The violence has sent tens of thousands of refugees across the border into Sudan and threatens to fuel instability in Africa’s volatile belt between the Sahel and the Red Sea.
Foreign governments have evacuated diplomats and citizens to safety over the past week, including by airlift. Britain said its evacuation would end on Saturday as demand for seats on planes fell.
The United States said several hundred Americans have left Sudan by land, sea or air. A convoy of buses carrying 300 Americans left Khartoum late on Friday for the 525-mile (850 km) journey to the Red Sea in the first US-organized effort to evacuate citizens, the New York Times reported.
At least 96 people have died in Darfur since Monday in inter-communal violence that has been rekindled by the conflict between the army and the RSF, said Ravina Shamdasani, spokeswoman for the UN human rights office.
Written by: Vaishali verma
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