The Sudanese belligerents have accused each other of being behind the violations of the last cease fire which was brokered by the United States and Saudi Arabia, now in its third day.
Clashes between rival factions erupted again on Thursday in Khartoum and the nearby city of Omdurman, witnesses said, as well as in the strategic southwestern town of El Obeid.
“Residents of the cities of Omdurman and Khartoum reported hearing exchanges of fire during the night between the Rapid Support Forces and the Sudanese army,” said Hiba Morgan of Al Jazeera, reporting from Omdurman. .
“In the early hours of Thursday we could hear reconnaissance planes flying over Omdurman and when we spoke to people in Khartoum they said they could hear the planes as well,” he said. -she adds.
Khartoum, Omdurman and Khartoum North constitute the largest region of the Sudanese capital. They are separated by the confluence of the Blue Nile and the White Nile.
The week cease fire was reached after five weeks of struggle in Khartoum and outbreaks of fighting in other parts of Sudan, including the long volatile western region of Darfur.
The fighting – centered on a power struggle between the Sudanese army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) – has deepened a humanitarian crisisforced over more than a million people to flee and threatened to destabilize a fragile region.
War broke out in Khartoum on April 15 after disputes over RSF integration project in the army as part of an internationally-backed deal to move Sudan towards democracy after decades of the former president’s divisive rule Omar al-Bashirwho declared himself leader of the country after staging a coup in 1989.
The truce has been violated just minutes after it came into effect on Monday eveningresidents of the capital Khartoum reporting air attacks and artillery fire rocking the city.
There have since been further breaches of the ceasefire agreement, which is supposed to allow much-needed humanitarian aid to reach war-torn areas of the North African country.
It is the latest in a series of truces that have all been systematically violated.
It’s unclear if either side has taken an advantage in the past few weeks of fighting.
In a statement released late Wednesday, the RSF, led by Mohammed Hamdan Daglo, sought to blame the ceasefire violations on the army led by de facto Sudanese leader Abdel Fattah al-Burhan.
The army “launched a series of unwarranted attacks today”, said RSF, adding that “our forces decisively repelled these assaults”.
“Our forces succeeded in shooting down a SAF MiG jet fighter,” he said, reiterating however that he remained “committed to the humanitarian truce”.
According to Morgan, “The RSF claims to have shot down a fighter plane belonging to the army but the army says the plane crashed due to a technical error and that it was due to an air-to-surface missile fired by the RSF.”
The army also said on Thursday morning that it had “countered an attack on armored vehicles by the Rapid Support Forces militias in flagrant violation of the truce”.
Continued Ceasefire Violations
The US State Department said the ceasefire monitoring mechanism in Sudan detected possible violations of the agreement, including the observed use of artillery, military aircraft and drones.
“We continued to see ceasefire violations,” State Department spokesman Matthew Miller told reporters.
“We retain our power of sanctions and, if necessary, we will not hesitate to use this power.”
The UN envoy for the Horn of Africa, Hanna Tetteh, said the continued fighting was “unacceptable and must stop”.
Washington also warned that the Russian mercenary group Wagner was supplying the RSF with surface-to-air missiles to fight the Sudanese army, saying it was “contributing to a protracted armed conflict that only aggravated the chaos in the region”. .
The army relies on air power while the RSF deployed and took cover in the streets of Khartoum.
The Health Ministry said some 730 people were killed and 5,454 injured, although the true number could be much higher.