Sudan War: The violent clashes in the Sudanese capital Khartoum have now entered the third week and there is no sign of any consensus on maintaining peace in the region. The tentative truce did not prove to be fruitful for the country which has been witnessing severe clashes pushing it to the verge of a civil war. Reuters reported that air strikes and artillery rocked Khartoum on Saturday despite a ceasefire in place.
The violence is continuing to force civilians to flee. The report added that by Saturday evening, heavy clashes could be heard near downtown Khartoum, close to the army headquarters and the presidential palace.
However, Reuters mentioned that a UN envoy earlier said that the warring sides were now more open to negotiations – though no date had been set. The sides have continued to battle during a series of ceasefires. The latest 72-hour truce is set to expire at midnight on Sunday.
At least 528 people have been killed and 4,599 wounded since April 15 when a long-simmering power struggle between the army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) erupted into conflict.
More than 75,000 people had been internally displaced by the fighting, the United Nations reported, as quoted by Reuters.
The army said in a statement it had conducted sweep operations and clashed with RSF troops in northern Bahri and in Omdurman, across the Nile from Khartoum, and destroyed 25 vehicles of RSF reinforcements, as quoted by Reuters. The army further added that several banks and stores across the capital had been looted.
Similarly, the RSF said in a statement on Saturday it had shot down an army warplane in Omdurman, and accused the army of violating the ceasefire with an attack there.
Notably, the army has previously blamed the RSF for violations.
As per the report, on Friday, army leader General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan said he would never sit down with the RSF’s “rebel” leader, referring to General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, also known as Hemedti. The RSF chief responded saying he would talk only after the army ceased hostilities.
Rescue Operations In War Zone
Countries rushed to rescue their citizens, embassy staff and others after the two sides at war in Sudan announced 72-hour ceasefire. Foreign governments organised a major evacuation of expatriates, some by land and sea, and some by air.
Reuters mentioned Egypt as saying that on Saturday it would stop running evacuations out of the Wadi Seidna base north of Khartoum, a day after Turkey said an evacuation plane was shot at.
Meanwhile, in one of the latest efforts by foreign governments to evacuate their citizens and others, A convoy of buses carrying about 300 Americans left the war-torn capital of Sudan on Friday, starting a 525-mile journey to the Red Sea, US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said, mentioned a New York Times report.
It added that the convoy was being tracked by armed American drones that hovered high overhead, watching for threats.
Britain has evacuated 1,573 people since Tuesday from an airfield north of Khartoum, most of them British nationals. Germany and France have evacuated 1,700 people by air whereas at least 3,000 more from various countries have been evacuated by sea from Port Sudan to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, Saudi authorities said, reported The New York Times.
Meanwhile, UN chief Antonio Guterres told Saudi-owned Al Arabiya television, “There is no right to go on fighting for power when the country is falling apart.”
India’s Operation Kaveri
India on Saturday (April 29) brought back a new batch of 365 people as part of its mission to evacuate stranded Indians from strife-torn Sudan. The new batch of Indians arrived a day after 754 people arrived in India in two batches as part of the evacuation mission.
According to official data, the total number of Indians who returned home now stands at 1,725.
The Indians were returned home from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, where India had set up a transit camp for the evacuees.
On Wednesday, the first batch of 360 evacuees flew back to New Delhi in a commercial plane. On Thursday, the second batch of 246 Indian evacuees arrived in Mumbai aboard an Indian Air Force C17 Globemaster.
Under Operation Kaveri, India has been transporting its citizens in buses from conflict zones in Khartoum and other troubled areas to Port Sudan, from where they are transported to the Saudi Arabian city of Jeddah in heavy-lift transport aircraft and ships of the Indian Air Force and Indian Navy.