320 Sudanese soldiers flee to Chad, arrive 'disarmed and detained'
Chad's Defense Minister states that the Sudanese troops feared the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and noted that "the situation in Sudan is worrying and deplorable".
Chad's Defense Minister, General Daoud Yaya Brahim, confirmed that approximately 320 Sudanese soldiers fled the conflict to neighboring Chad and "arrived in our territory, were disarmed and detained".
At a press conference, Brahim said the troops feared the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and noted that "the situation in Sudan is worrying and deplorable, we have taken all the necessary measures in the face of this crisis," adding that "this war does not concern us, it's between the Sudanese, and we must remain vigilant against all eventualities."
Chad closed its borders on Saturday with neighboring Sudan, which is often a crossing point for rebel groups from both sides.
Clashes are ongoing between Army forces led by Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan and the Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo-led RSF, in what can be described as a surprising turn of events that led to armed conflict between the previous allies.
Here's a quick wrap-up. pic.twitter.com/jfnSEbrX4j— Al Mayadeen English (@MayadeenEnglish) April 16, 2023
The Sudanese army accused the RSF of attacking many of its bases in Khartoum and other areas, shortly after the RSF accused the army of attacking its bases. With that said, the director of Khartoum's Center for Strategic and Political Studies, Hassan Shayeb Denqos, told Al Mayadeen that "there is a state of panic among citizens, after heavy gunfire, clashes on the streets of the capital."
Sudanese Rapid Support Forces announced on Wednesday their approval of a 24-hour ceasefire starting today at 6 p.m local time and hoped that the Sudanese Armed Forces will abide by it as the country entered its fifth day of internal war.
The military group added in a statement that they will be "fully committed to a complete ceasefire," while the armed forces did not yet comment on the matter.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), at least 296 people have been killed so far, while over 3,000 individuals were injured. On Saturday, three staff members from the World Food Programme (WFP) were killed during clashes in North Darfur, prompting the agency to suspend all operations in the country.
Sudan's capital Khartoum witnessed the most intense fighting, as media and locals reported sounds of continuous fire exchange, air strikes, and artillery shelling between both sides. The City of Omdurman, across the Nile, among several other areas, also witnessed heavy battles.