Sudan clashes

June 1, 2023 | 7:39pm
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Sudan clashes
June 1, 2023

South Sudan's foreign ministry says it deplored the extension of an arms embargo and sanctions imposed on individuals in the troubled country by the UN Security Council.

The resolution drafted by the United States was approved on Tuesday as all parties were urged to "avoid a relapse into widespread conflict". The Security Council extended the embargo on sales of arms until May 31, 2024.

South Sudan remains wracked by armed conflict and political turmoil five years after a peace deal was signed to end a civil war that left nearly 400,000 people dead. — AFP

June 1, 2023

The United States says it remained ready to mediate between Sudan's warring parties but that they needed to be serious about a truce, after the army left talks in Saudi Arabia.

"Once the forces make clear by their actions that they are serious about complying with the ceasefire, the United States and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are prepared to resume facilitation of the suspended discussions to find a negotiated solution to this conflict," a State Department spokesperson says as Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited Oslo.

Sudan's army on Wednesday blasted bases of the paramilitary force after pulling out of the ceasefire talks, accusing its rival of violating the truce meant to bring in aid. — AFP

May 29, 2023

Before Sudanese army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan got locked into a brutal war with his former deputy, he was propelled to power by powerful Islamists -- a tide now turning against him, according to analysts.

Burhan "does not represent a political current in his own right. He's a chess piece in Sudanese politics," said Othman al-Mirghani, editor-in-chief of independent daily Al-Tayar.

Under the regime of Islamist-military ruler Omar al-Bashir, who himself came to power in a coup in 1989, Islamists dominated the government, building powerful networks of financial, commercial and political influence.

In 67 years of independence, Sudan has been under military rule for 55.

"Sudanese politics is therefore deeply militarised, and the Sudanese armed forces is a significantly politicised institution," according to the Rift Valley Institute think tank. — AFP

May 28, 2023

Sudan's army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan has accused UN special envoy Volker Perthes of stoking a brutal conflict with paramilitaries, the latest in a series of apparent moves to bolster his war effort.

United Nations chief Antonio Guterres said he was "shocked" by Burhan's letter, which requested "the nomination of a replacement" to Perthes and accused him of committing "fraud and disinformation" in facilitating a political process which broke down into six weeks of devastating urban warfare.

Burhan and his former deputy Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, who commands the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, were meant to meet for negotiations facilitated by the UN on April 15, the day they turned Khartoum into a war zone. — AFP

May 25, 2023

Sudan's warring sides on Thursday accuse each other of being behind breaches of the latest ceasefire that was negotiated by the US and Saudi Arabia, now in its third day.

The one-week truce was violated only minutes after it came into effect on Monday night, with residents of the capital Khartoum reporting air strikes and artillery fire shaking the city.

Breaches have since persisted of the ceasefire agreement, which is meant to allow for much-needed humanitarian aid to reach war-ravaged parts of the northeast African country. — AFP

May 17, 2023

The United Nations says that $3.03 billion would be needed to provide urgent aid to people in conflict-ravaged Sudan and to over one million expected to flee into neighbouring countries this year.

Needs have soared since a bloody conflict erupted in Sudan on April 15, the UN said, revising up its response plan for the country.

"Today, 25 million people -- more than half the population of Sudan -- needs humanitarian aid and protection," Ramesh Rajasingham, head of the UN humanitarian agency's Geneva bureau, tells reporters. — AFP

May 15, 2023

One month since Sudan's conflict erupted, its capital is a desolate war zone where terrorised families huddle in their homes as gun battles rage in the dusty, deserted streets outside.

Across Khartoum, those still alive remain barricaded, hoping to dodge stray bullets and enduring desperate shortages of food and basic supplies.

There are power blackouts, a lack of cash, communications outages, and runaway inflation.

The city of five million on the Nile River was long a place of relative stability and wealth, even under decades of sanctions against former strongman Omar al-Bashir.

Now it has become a shell of its former self. — AFP

May 12, 2023

UN says Friday that some 200,000 people have now fled Sudan to escape fighting that erupted in mid-April, in addition to hundreds of thousands who have been displaced inside the country.

"As violence in Sudan continues for a fourth week, nearly 200,000 refugees and returnees have been forced to flee the country, with more crossing borders daily seeking safety," UN refugee agency spokeswoman Olga Sarrado tells reporters in Geneva. — AFP

May 11, 2023

The UN rights chief Thursday called on the international community to exert all possible pressure on the fighting sides in Sudan to resolve the conflict and end "the wanton violence".

The fighting has plunged "this much-suffering country into catastrophe", United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk said.

Addressing a special session of the UN Human Rights Council on the situation in Sudan, he urged "all states with influence in the region to encourage, by all possible means, the resolution of this crisis". — AFP

May 8, 2023

Ceasefire talks in Saudi Arabia between Sudan's warring generals have yielded "no major progress" so far, a Saudi diplomat tells AFP, dampening hopes for a quick end to the fighting.

Sudan's army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, who heads the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), sent representatives to the Red Sea coastal city of Jeddah on Saturday for meetings that Washington and Riyadh described as "pre-negotiation talks". 

The Sudanese army has said they will address how a truce "can be correctly implemented to serve the humanitarian side". — AFP

May 8, 2023

As Sudan's warring generals have repeatedly failed to honour multiple agreed ceasefires, experts warn of protracted fighting, despite both sides preparing to meet in Saudi Arabia for direct talks.

Army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and his rival Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, who commands the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), were once allies but have for weeks been locked in deadly fighting to secure power.

The contest for Khartoum, the capital that is home to five million people, has descended into gruelling urban warfare with a high toll on civilian life.

"The battle for Khartoum is quickly developing into a war of attrition where both sides have similar capabilities and capacities," said Andreas Krieg of King's College London.

The city has become a war zone, witnessing intense street battles involving artillery barrages, gunfights, air strikes and anti-aircraft fire. — AFP

May 6, 2023

Experts warn of protracted fighting as Sudan's warring generals have repeatedly failed to honor multiple agreed ceasefires, despite both sides preparing to meet in Saudi Arabia for direct talks.

Army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and his rival Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, who commands the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), were once allies but have for weeks been locked in deadly fighting to secure power.

The contest for Khartoum, the capital that is home to five million people, has descended into gruelling urban warfare with a high toll on civilian life. — AFP

May 5, 2023

The UN warns Friday that large numbers of children were dying in the Sudan conflict, pointing to reports indicating that seven children were being killed or injured every hour.

"As feared and as warned, the situation in Sudan has become fatal for a frighteningly large number of children," James Elder, spokesman for the UN children's agency UNICEF, tells reporters in Geneva.

He says the agency had received reports from a trusted partner -- not yet independently verified by the UN -- that 190 children were killed and 1,700 injured in just the first 11 days of the conflict that began on April 15. — AFP

May 4, 2023

Sudanese exiled rebel leader Abdel Wahid Nur -- a veteran of decades of fighting in the troubled Darfur region -- says there can be "no winner" in the war now raging between two rival generals.

"The Sudanese people want neither of them," Nur, now based in neighboring South Sudan, told AFP. "They want a civilian government."

Battles have flared for weeks between Sudan's army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and his former deputy, Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, who commands the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF). 

"What's happening in Sudan is a disaster," Nur, 55, said in an interview in Juba, the capital of South Sudan, where he lives after spending years in Paris.

"There is no winner in this war," said the leader of a faction of the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) whose members, he said, have not joined the fighting. — AFP

May 4, 2023

The UN chief says "we failed" to stop war from erupting in Sudan, where persistent fighting between rival generals undermined efforts to firm up a truce.

"The UN was taken by surprise" by the conflict, because the world body and others were hopeful that negotiations towards a civilian transition would be successful, Antonio Guterres tells reporters in Nairobi.

"To the extent that we and many others were not expecting this to happen, we can say we failed to avoid it to happen," the secretary general says. — AFP 

May 3, 2023

Warring generals in Sudan have agreed "in principle" to a seven-day ceasefire, the government of neighbouring South Sudan said Tuesday, after regional envoys denounced repeated violations of previous truces.

Diplomatic efforts have intensified to end more than two weeks of war in Africa's third-largest country as warnings multiply about a "catastrophic" humanitarian crisis.

More than 430,000 people have already been forced to flee their homes, the United Nations said.

Hundreds of others have been killed and thousands wounded. — AFP

May 2, 2023

The UN warns more than 800,000 people could flee fighting and dire conditions in Sudan, where explosions again shook the capital in violation of the latest truce extension agreed by warring generals.

The chaos and bloodshed, now in their third week, have already sparked an exodus of tens of thousands of Sudanese to neighbouring countries including Egypt, Chad and Central African Republic.

But the United Nations' refugee agency, UNHCR, says it was bracing for "the possibility that over 800,000 people may flee the fighting in Sudan for neighbouring countries".

"We hope it doesn't come to that, but if violence doesn't stop we will see more people forced to flee", UNHCR chief Filippo Grandi says in a tweet, adding to UN alarm over what the world body calls a catastrophic humanitarian situation sparked by the war. — AFP

May 1, 2023

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is sending an envoy to the Sudan region amid the "unprecedented" situation there, as deadly hostilities enter a third week, his spokesman said Sunday.

The announcement came as the army and heavily armed paramilitaries in Khartoum continued fighting, even as a widely breached ceasefire was extended for 72 hours.

UN emergency relief coordinator Martin Griffiths, who will serve as the envoy, said in a separate statement Sunday that Sudan's "humanitarian situation is reaching breaking point."

"I am on my way to the region to explore how we can bring immediate relief to the millions of people whose lives have turned upside down overnight," he said.

However, massive looting of humanitarian offices and warehouses had "depleted most of our supplies. We are exploring urgent ways to bring in and distribute additional supplies," he said.

The "obvious solution," he added, would be to "stop the fighting." — AFP

April 28, 2023

The first group of Indonesians evacuated from strife-torn Sudan returned home Friday on a charter flight from Saudi Arabia, officials said.

Southeast Asia's most populous country has joined nations around the world in rushing to move their citizens to safety by land, air and sea after clashes between the Sudanese army and paramilitaries killed hundreds and injured thousands.

Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi and military chief Yudo Margono greeted the 385 nationals — 248 women and 137 men — who arrived at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Jakarta after the 10-hour flight from the Saudi city of Jeddah.

"Considering the evacuees' journey was very long and tiring, they will be temporarily accommodated… in east Jakarta before returning to their respective homes," Marsudi told reporters.

She said another plane of evacuees would depart for Indonesia on Saturday and a final repatriation flight would set off Sunday. — AFP

April 27, 2023

China has deployed its navy to rescue citizens from conflict-hit Sudan, the defense ministry in Beijing said on Thursday.

Multiple nations have scrambled to evacuate embassy staff and citizens by road, air and sea from Sudan, where fighting between the army and paramilitaries has killed hundreds and led to acute shortages of water, food, medicines and fuel.

Rescue operations intensified in recent days as a 72-hour ceasefire took effect on Tuesday. 

But some fighting was reported around the country on Wednesday, with witnesses describing "heavy air strikes" east of the capital, Khartoum.

"Recently, the security situation in Sudan has continued to deteriorate," Chinese defense ministry spokesman Tan Kefei said. — AFP

April 27, 2023

Malacañang says 409 Filipinos have been evacuated from Sudan.

The Presidential Communications Office says that of these, some 355 are overseas Filipino workers and their families who left Khartoum for Egypt on April 26.

Another 35 OFWs and 15 students were evacuated to Egypt.

April 26, 2023

Department of Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Ed de Vega says Philippine Ambassador to Egypt Ezzedin Tago and Vice Consul Bojer Capati figured in a car accident in their rush to get to Sudan-Egypt border to help Filipino evacuees. 

Vega adds that both survived and are still proceeding somehow to border later Wednesday.  The vice consul is first clearing with hospital now.

April 25, 2023

United Nations bracing for up to 270,000 to flee Sudan into Chad, South Sudan.

April 25, 2023

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Sudan's warring generals had agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire starting Tuesday, after 10 days of urban combat killed hundreds, wounded thousands and sparked a mass exodus of foreigners.

Previous bids to pause the conflict failed to take hold but Blinken said: "Following intense negotiation over the past 48 hours, the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) have agreed to implement a nationwide ceasefire starting at midnight on April 24, to last for 72 hours."

Blinken's statement came two hours before the truce was to take effect from 2200 GMT Monday.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned earlier that Sudan was on "the edge of the abyss" and that the violence "could engulf the whole region and beyond".

The fighting has pitted forces loyal to army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan against those of his former deputy Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, who commands the paramilitary RSF. 

The RSF emerged from the Janjaweed militia that then-president Omar al-Bashir unleashed in Darfur, leading to war crimes charges against Bashir and others.

The Forces of Freedom and Change, the main civilian bloc which the two generals ousted from power in a 2021 coup, said the truce would allow for "dialogue on the modalities of a permanent ceasefire." -- AFP

April 24, 2023

More than 1,000 European Union citizens were evacuated from conflict-hit Sudan over the weekend, the bloc's foreign policy chief Josep Borrell says. 

"It has been a complex operation and it has been a successful operation," Borrell told journalists. 

Borrell said 21 diplomats from the EU's mission in Khartoum were taken out and the EU ambassador had moved outside the capital to elsewhere in Sudan. 

"I want to thank France especially for taking our people out," he said. — AFP

April 23, 2023

Sudan's Rapid Support Forces says it was helping American troops evacuate Washington's embassy in the violence-hit capital Khartoum.

"The Rapid Support Forces Command has coordinated with the U.S Forces Mission consisting of 6 aircraft, for evacuating diplomats and their families on Sunday morning," said a tweet by the paramilitary group, which for a week has fought Sudan's regular army in a conflict which has already killed hundreds. — AFP

April 22, 2023

Fighting in Sudan's capital enters a second week Saturday as crackling gunfire shattered a temporary truce, the latest battles between forces of rival generals that have already left hundreds dead and thousands wounded.

Overnight, the heavy explosions that had previously rocked the city in recent days had subsided, but on Saturday morning, bursts of gunfire resumed.

Violence broke out on April 15 between forces loyal to army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and his deputy turned rival Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, who commands the powerful paramilitary Rapid Support Forces. — AFP

April 21, 2023

Seoul says Friday it would send a military aircraft and soldiers to evacuate South Korean nationals stranded in Sudan, where hundreds of people have died since fighting broke out last week.

Japan is taking similar steps and on Friday sent a military plane to try and fetch its citizens from the conflict-hit country.

More than 300 people have been killed after violence erupted Saturday between forces loyal to Sudan's army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and his deputy, Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, who commands the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF). — AFP

April 21, 2023

Sudan's warring forces clash again in the nation's capital, with bombing and shelling reported in several areas of Khartoum, as they ignored appeals by world powers for an end-of-Ramadan ceasefire.

Both UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken call separately for a ceasefire of "at least" three days to mark Eid al-Fitr in the mostly Muslim country, as explosions and gunfire resounded in the capital Khartoum for the sixth straight night.

"On the night of Eid al-Fitr, several areas of Khartoum were bombed and are still exposed to shelling and clashes between the armed forces and the RSF," the Central Committee of Sudan Doctors says in a statement. — AFP

Bookmark this page on the ongoing battles between Sudan's regular army and a powerful paramilitary force after long-running bitter brinkmanship spilled into conflict.

This image grab taken from AFPTV video footage on April 20, 2023, shows an aerial view of black smoke rising above the Khartoum International Airport amid ongoing battles between the forces of two rival generals. Hundreds of people have been killed since the fighting erupted on April 15 between forces loyal to Sudan's army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and his deputy, Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, who commands the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF).

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