Rapid Support Forces (RSF), Sudan’s paramilitary group, has announced that it has taken control of Khartoum Airport, Merowe air base and the presidential residence after an exchange of heavy gunfire between the group and the Sudanese Armed Forces on Saturday in Khartoum.
Sounds of explosions and gunfire were heard across the capital as the RSF and Sudan’s Armed Forces clashed as tension escalated over forming a transitional government.
People were told to remain indoors while army jets conducted aerial surveys and hit RSF’s bases on Saturday night. The Sudanese Doctor’s Committee said that at least 56 civilians had been killed in different cities and regions of Sudan, and dozens of military personnel were dead as a result of the conflict. The committee also added that at least 595 people were injured on Saturday.
Other reports stated that two people were killed at Khartoum Airport, and a Saudi Arabian Airlines aircraft also came under gunfire at the airport during the conflict.
Heavy gunfire was also reported in Omdurman, Bahri and Rea Sea City very early Sunday morning.
Sudan Army Refuses To Negotiate
Sudan’s Armed Forces dismissed the possibility of negotiating with the RSF unless the force is dissolved.
Sudanese Army Chief, General Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, told Al Jazeera TV,
“We think if they are wise they will turn back their troops that came into Khartoum. But if it continues we will have to deploy troops into Khartoum from other areas.”
Leader of the RSF, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, called the army chief “a liar” and “a criminal” and also said in an interview on Al Jazeera
“We know where you are hiding and we will get to you and hand you over to justice, or you die just like any other dog.”
The conflict, caused by rising tensions over integrating the RSF into the military, could disrupt the country’s transition to civilian rule.
Flights To Khartoum Airport Cancelled
Many airlines have cancelled flights to Khartoum due to the current conflict in Sudan. Airlines such as Turkish Airlines, Kenya Airways, Emirates, Flydubai, and Air Arabia have all cancelled flights to Sudan.
Emirates, who boosted its routes for the summer holidays last month, told customers,
“Due to the growing situation of civil unrest in the Sudanese capital, Emirates can confirm that all its flights to and from Khartoum are cancelled from April 15 to 17 inclusive. Passengers connecting to Khartoum on these flights will not be accepted for travel at their point of origin. Affected passengers should contact their respective travel agent or Emirates call centre for rebooking options.”
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