Sudan: Clashes between military and Rapid Support Forces in Khartoum
After a warning from the Sudanese army earlier this morning about the deployment of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces in Khartoum, explosions are heard in the capital.
Explosions and gunfire were heard in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, on Saturday, according to AFP. Local reports argued that clashes between the Sudanese military and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) stationed across the country's capital.
A statement by the RSF declared the group's control of the Presidential Palace, the guest house, Khartoum airports of Merowe and El Obeid, as well as a number of locations across the Sudanese states. The RSF also accused the Sudanese army of launching an attack using "heavy and light weapons" against one of its military bases in Khartoum earlier.
According to an Al Mayadeen's source, "The Sudanese army has not confirmed the control of Khartoum airport by the RSF."
Moreover, the RSF, in its statement, noted that it was "surprised on Saturday morning by a large number of armed forces entering their headquarters in the Ardh Al-Muaskarat at Soba in Khartoum."
Sudanese army accuses RSF of attacking its bases in Khartoum
In turn, the Sudanese army accused the RSF of attacking many of its bases in Khartoum and other areas shortly after announcing the RSF accused the army of attacking its bases.
Army spokesperson Brigadier General Nabil Abdallah told AFP "Fighters from the Rapid Support Forces attacked several army camps in Khartoum and elsewhere around Sudan," adding that "clashes are ongoing and the army is carrying out its duty to safeguard the country."
In turn, the director of the capital'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."
Denqos added that "the Sudanese army and the RSF are in a state of intense congestion", noting that "the current situation heralds a major explosion between them."
"The Sudanese Army Command declared the RSF to be rebel forces," Denqos explained.
SPA rejects both rhetorics, call for civilian movement
For his part, the spokesperson of the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), Al-Walid Ali told Al Mayadeen that "what is happening now is a conflict between two wings of the previous regime."
In that vein, Ali noted that "the SPA has issued a statement calling on the Sudanese people's masses to establish committees to protect neighborhoods and cities."
It is worth noting that the SPA appealed to professional organizations and urged them "not to engage in any acts of aggression," and considered that the people of Sudan must adhere to their needs rather than "throw themselves into the arms of the previous regime's security committees."
The editor-in-chief of the newspaper Masader, Abdelmajid Abdelhamid, told Al Mayadeen that there was a "serious shift in the nature of the conflict between the RSF and the Sudanese army."
Abdelhamid also highlighted that "if sensible voices do not intervene to calm the situation in Sudan," then the nation could be heading toward a "civil war."
In turn, lawyer Noun Kashkush told Al Mayadeen that the Soba area, which is currently a war zone, contains the RSF headquarters.
A few days ago, the Sudanese army warned against the deployment of RSF in Khartoum and some cities, noting that the movements took place without the consent and coordination of the leadership of the armed forces.
In contrast, the RSF, which operates under the command of Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, the deputy head of the military junta, have confirmed that they are deployed throughout the country under their normal duties.