Fighting continued between the Sudanese army and Rapid Support Forces (RSF) for a fifth day after an internationally brokered ceasefire fell apart.
Explosions and heavy gunfire rattled the Sudanese capital on Wednesday, with witnesses saying desperate and terrified Sudanese who have been trapped for days in their homes by the violence raging on their doorsteps began to flee their homes.
A 24-hour cease-fire was to have been in effect from sundown Tuesday to sundown Wednesday. It was the most concrete attempt yet to bring a pause that it was hoped could be expanded into a longer truce.
A civilian residential building is burning in Khartoum, Sudan, because of shelling between the Sudanese Armed Forces and Rapid Support Forces. Large scale civilian casualties in Sudan while two generals fighting for power. https://t.co/bVFFoZwmQH
— Ashok Swain (@ashoswai) April 19, 2023
The regular army and the rival paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) have issued statements accusing each other of failing to respect the ceasefire.
The army’s high command said it would continue operations to secure the capital and other regions. It blamed the RSF, the powerful paramilitary group led by General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, known as “Hemedti”, for violating the ceasefire.
“The RSF didn’t even give the ceasefire a chance to take effect,” said Brigadier General Nabil Abdullah, spokesman for the Sudanese Armed Forces in a televised interview.
WHO: Over 270 People Killed
The Sudan Doctors’ Union has said that at least 30 people have been killed since an agreed ceasefire was supposed to take effect at 6pm (16:00 GMT) on Tuesday.
The World Health Organization (WHO) announced on Tuesday that violent clashes in Sudan claimed the lives of nearly 270 people while 2,600 people were wounded.
According to the director general of WHO Dr. Tedros Ghebreysus, three workers of the World Food Program were among the deceased.
“I condemn all loss of life and we stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Sudan. The heaviest fighting is currently in Khartoum,” he said.
“The supplies that the WHO distributed to health facilities, prior to this recent escalation of conflict, are now exhausted. Hospitals in Khartoum receiving injured civilians are reporting shortages of medical personnel and life-saving medical supplies,” Ghebreysus added.
Meanwhile, the Sudanese health ministry has raised the alarm about the deteriorating healthcare situation in the country since clashes broke out on Saturday.
In a statement on Twitter, the ministry said that public health sector in the capital, Khartoum, was verging on “total collapse” as 16 hospitals were now completely out of service.