Khartoum clashes escalate after collapse of ceasefire talks
Heavy gunfire and explosions have rocked Khartoum and the western region of Darfur for over seven weeks now.
Clashes between Sudan's warring generals escalated after the collapse of ceasefire talks. Meanwhile, residents and activists reported that at least 40 people had died in a recent wave of violence in the state of North Darfur.
Fighting between army leader Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan and his former deputy RSF commander Mohammad Hamdan Dagalo has gripped Khartoum and the western region of Darfur for over seven weeks now, despite numerous attempts to broker a humanitarian truce.
The Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and Sudan's army entered a cease-fire on May 22 that lasted till Saturday night.
The interim cease-fire, which was mediated by Saudi Arabia and the United States, provided some humanitarian aid, but it was constantly violated, as had previous fragile ceasefires. Efforts to extend it on Friday were suspended.
Since battles began on April 15, more than 1,800 people have been killed, as per the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project.
The UN says 1.2 million people have been displaced within Sudan and more than 425,000 have fled to neighboring countries.
Other locations where violence was reportedly occurring were Bahri to the north across the Blue Nile and central and southern Khartoum.
Witnesses reported seeing a military jet crash in Omdurman, one of the three cities that make up the larger capital region near the confluence of the Nile. Meanwhile, the situation is worsening in Darfur, which already battling long-running unrest and severe humanitarian challenges.
Witnesses claimed that Kutum, one of North Darfur's major cities and a commercial center, had fallen into disorder as a result of severe fighting on Friday and Saturday.
According to the Darfur Bar Association, which monitors rights in the area, at least 40 people were murdered and dozens more were injured, including inhabitants of the Kassab camp, which housed individuals displaced by prior conflict.
The army refuted accusations that the RSF, which arose from militias in Darfur and has its power base there, had seized control of Kutum.
Separately, RSF militants were reported to have retreated from the national museum in the heart of Khartoum, according to Sudanese antiquities officials. The RSF published a video on Saturday claiming they had destroyed the collection of priceless artifacts and ancient mummies kept on the museum's premises.
Fighting in the capital has caused extensive destruction and theft, decreasing food supplies, and a collapse in the health, electricity, and water infrastructure.
This is happening as humanitarian agencies have constantly warned of the rainy season set to start this month, when the already dire conditions "will worsen and rivers will flood, complicating movement and supplies," said MSF's emergency coordinator Christophe Garnier.