Shelling and air strikes pounded parts of Sudan’s capital yesterday with little sign that warring military factions were ready to back down in a month-long conflict that has killed hundreds despite ceasefire talks in Saudi Arabia.
Khartoum and the adjoining cities of Bahri and Omdurman across the Nile’s two branches have been the main theatre of conflict along with western Darfur province since the army and the Rapid Support Forces paramilitary started fighting on April 15.
Shelling struck Bahri and air strikes hit Omdurman early yesterday, according to a Reuters reporter and witnesses. “There were heavy air strikes near us in Saliha that shook the doors of the house,” said Salma Yassin, a teacher in Omdurman.
A resident near Khartoum airport, which has been closed since the start of the conflict, said there had been intermittent fighting throughout the day.
The unrest has killed at least 676 people and injured 5,576, the UN said, though with many reports of people missing and bodies left unburied, the real toll is expected to be much higher.
More than 200,000 have fled into neighbouring countries and more than 700,000 have been displaced inside Sudan, triggering a humanitarian crisis that threatens to draw in outside powers and destabilise the region.
Those who have remained in Khartoum have been struggling to survive as health services have collapsed, power and water supplies have been cut, and food stocks have dwindled.
On Saturday night, RSF gunmen seeking money attacked a church in Omdurman, injuring five people including a priest, a Coptic Christian activist said. The army also blamed the RSF for the attack.