Rapid Support Forces has claimed to be in control of Sudan capital, Khartoum by 90 percent as heavy fighting early on Friday, continued with continuous explosions and gunfire heard in the Sudanese capital and the city of Omdurman, despite to the extension of a fragile ceasefire between the warring Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and Rapid Support Forces (RSF) paramilitary group.
It would be recalled that a US-brokered ceasefire between the two parties took effect on Monday, 24 April and was supposed to end at midnight on 28 April. Just as the Friday’s escalation came hours after the two sides agreed to extend the ceasefire for a period of 72 hours, with mediation from the United States and Saudi Arabia, with the aim of allowing foreign governments to complete the evacuation of their citizens.
According to residents in the Sudanese capital, there were fierce clashes in the Khartoum neighborhood of Kafouri, near the military’s headquarters, the Republic Palace, and the area surrounding the Khartoum international airport. Across the Nile, in Omdurman, a protest group reported “constant explosions” in the district of Karari, and called on residents to remain vigilant.
The RSF claimed that the SAF launched airstrikes against its bases in Omdurman and Jabal Awliya, South of Khartoum. The SAF, in turn, accused its counterpart of beginning the attack, saying it repelled a “failed” offensive and destroyed many RSF vehicles. Neither party’s claims could be verified, casting doubt as to which side instigated the fighting.
Multiple ceasefire agreements have largely failed to bring complete cessation to the fighting since war first broke out on 15 April between the SAF, led by General Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, and the paramilitary RSF, led by General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo.
In midst of the persisting violence and fighting, various operations to evacuate civilians have continued, and partial truces have allowed tens of thousands of people to flee to neighboring countries.
Rapid Support Forces, RSF in a statement on Friday night said in quote:
“The Rapid Support Forces confirm their tight control over 90% of the entire state of Khartoum, and that all entry points into the state are fully secured by our forces.
“Today, the locations of the concentration of our forces received large numbers of the coup forces who surrendered themselves, refusing to fight alongside the ranks of the coup leaders and the remnants of the defunct regime.
“Many other ranks are being counted. The camps of the putschist forces and remnants of the defunct regime witnessed the escape of dozens, leaving behind their rifles and military uniforms.
“Our forces repelled a number of attacks
by the coup forces and the remnants on
the positions of the forces, in addition to the continuous attacks by air and artillery, in violation of the humanitarian truce, as our forces dealt with the aggressor forces decisively and inflicted heavy losses in lives and equipment.
“In terms of helping the citizens to obtain
basic services, our forces started with the help of an engineering team in addressing the marine water problem, as they moved today, accompanied by the engineering team, to the water station, but the coup forces fired heavy fire on them, which disrupted the repair work of the station.
“In addition, our forces have intensified their activities in the locations they
control to combat looting and theft, as the campaigns, with the help of the citizens, have resulted in the arrest of large numbers of criminals, all of whom have been kept in custody.
“This morning, our forces facilitated the
movement and arrival of a number of gold building merchants in Khartoum to their shops and the withdrawal of their goods, amid great praise from them for the great effort of the forces in preserving their property.
“The coup leaders of the armed forces and the remnants of the defunct regime continued to spread intense rumors and practice widespread media misinformation through the mouthpieces of the defunct regime, known in the armed forces and some of the beneficiaries of Al-Arzqia, to deal with the great defeats that their forces suffered in a number of axes and their loss of control over 90% of Khartoum state.
“The Rapid Support Forces renew
their full commitment to the declared
humanitarian truce to open safe passages for citizens to meet their basic needs and to facilitate the evacuation of foreign nationals.
“We also refer to the continuous violations
of the coup leaders and the extremist remnants of the defunct regime due to the multiplicity and conflict of decision-making centers within them, as this was evident in the conflicting loss of control over 90% of Khartoum state.
“The Rapid Support Forces renew their full commitment to the declared humanitarian truce to open safe passages for citizens to meet their basic needs and to facilitate the
evacuation of foreign nationals. We
also refer to the continuous violations of the coup leaders and the extremist remnants of the defunct regime due to the multiplicity and conflict of decision-making centers within them, as this was evident in the conflicting statements issued by them”.