Explosions and fire at Khartoum airport as fighting continues in Sudan – video

Plumes of smoke could be seen rising above Khartoum international airport on Monday, as fighting in Sudan’s capital between the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and the country’s armed forces entered the third day. Fires could be seen on the airport’s tarmac, possibly complicating attempts by mediators to land in Khartoum and the delivery of humanitarian supplies. The two groups have been vying for control of key sites in Omdurman and Khartoum, though violence has now spread to other cities. Almost 100 civilians have been killed in the fighting and many more injured

Sudan death toll nears 100 as fighting rages and hospitals run short of supplies

Satellite image of Khartoum, Sudan, on Sunday as clashes between the army and paramilitary group continued

Sudan death toll nears 100 as fighting rages and hospitals run short of supplies
WHO warns some hospitals in Khartoum short of blood and other critical supplies to treat wounded and clashes enter third day

Explainer: why is there fighting in Sudan?
Pippa Crerar in Karuizawa and agencies
Mon 17 Apr 2023 07.29 BST
At least 97 people have been killed and hundreds wounded as clashes spread across Sudan, and the World Health Organization (WHO) said some hospitals were running out of critical supplies to treat the injured.

Fighting erupted on Saturday between army units loyal to Gen Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the head of Sudan’s transitional governing Sovereign Council, and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), led by Gen Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, known as Hemedti, who is deputy head of the council.

It was the first such outbreak of fighting since both groups joined forces to oust the veteran Islamist autocrat Omar al-Bashir in 2019. The violence was sparked by a disagreement over the integration of the RSF into the military as part of a transition towards civilian rule to end the political-economic crisis sparked by a military coup in 2021.

Burhan and Hemedti agreed a three-hour pause in fighting from 4pm local time (1400 GMT to 1700 GMT) to allow humanitarian evacuations proposed by the United Nations, the UN mission in Sudan said, but the deal was widely ignored after a brief period of relative calm.

In a statement early on Monday, the doctors’ trade union said at least 97 civilians had been killed and 365 others injured since fighting erupted.

Smoke rises as clashes continue in the Sudanese capital on Sunday

The UN’s World Food Programme suspended operations in the country after three of its employees were killed in clashes in Darfur. Fighting was also reported in the eastern border state of Kassala.

The US secretary of state, Antony Blinken, called for an immediate ceasefire and a return to talks to put Sudan back on track to a civilian-led government.

Speaking at the G7 foreign ministers’ summit in Japan, he said: “There is a shared deep concern about the fighting, the violence that is going on in Sudan, the threat that that poses to civilians, that it poses to the Sudanese nation and potentially poses even to the region.

“There’s also a strongly held view across all of our partners on the need for an immediate ceasefire and a return to talks. Talks that were very promising in putting Sudan on a path to a full transition to civilian-led government.

“People in Sudan want the military back in the barracks, they want democracy, they want a civilian-led government. Sudan needs to return to that path.”

Standing alongside his US counterpart, the UK foreign secretary, James Cleverly, said a return to negotiations was the “ultimate desired outcome” in Sudan.

He said: “We call upon an immediate cessation of violence, a return to the talks, talks which seemed to be heading in the direction of civilian government. That, of course, is the ultimate desired outcome.

“Ultimately the immediate future lies in the hands of the generals who are engaged in this fight. We call on them to put peace first, to bring an end to the fighting, to get back to negotiations.

“That’s what the people of Sudan want, that’s what the people of Sudan deserve. We will continue to seek ways to support that road back to peace.”

Cleverly added that his “first priority” was the protection of British citizens in Sudan and said the government would provide “what support we can” to them. The UK has previously changed its travel advice to warn against travel to Sudan.

As clashes continued, the WHO said hospitals were running short of medical supplies.

“Several of the nine hospitals in Khartoum receiving injured civilians have run out of blood, transfusion equipment, intravenous fluids and other vital supplies,” the agency said.

Heavy fighting was reported around Khartoum international airport and the military headquarters on Sunday. Witnesses said the army had carried out airstrikes on RSF barracks and bases – including in Omdurman across the Nile River from Khartoum – and managed to destroy most of their facilities.

A statement by the army said there were ongoing clashes in the vicinity of military headquarters in central Khartoum, and said that RSF soldiers were stationing snipers on buildings, but that they were “monitored and being dealt with.”

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