Strong explosions rock Khartoum on Wednesday morning, on the 26th day of the war for power in Sudan between soldiers and paramilitaries, without any humanitarian corridor having so far been approved by the negotiators of the two camps.
“We were awakened by explosions and heavy artillery fire,” a resident of Omdurman, a city on the outskirts of Khartoum, told AFP.
Overnight, other witnesses in different neighbourhoods of Khartoum reported two huge explosions heard across the capital, which has a population of five million. Residents of El-Obeid, 350 km west of the capital, also reported fighting and explosions in their town.
General Abdel Fattah al-Burhane ‘s army and General Mohamed Hamdane Daglo ‘s dreaded paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) sent negotiators to Saudi Arabia on Saturday for only ” technical” ” pre-discussions ” on corridors secured for humanitarian aid.
But so far no announcement has been made in Jeddah, on the Red Sea, where the talks are taking place.
The head of the UN for humanitarian affairs, Martin Griffiths, who arrived in Jeddah on Sunday, has already left. He proposed to the two parties to commit to “guarantee the passage of humanitarian aid” via a declaration of principle, according to the UN.
Since its beginning on April 15, the conflict has left more than 750 dead and 5,000 injured.
Nearly 150,000 refugees have fled to neighbouring countries, according to the UN, while the number of internally displaced people in Sudan now exceeds 700,000, more than double the 340,000 counted a week ago.
Those who remain in Khartoum live barricaded in their homes. Without water or power, with almost dry food stocks and less and less cash, they survive in the scorching heat thanks to networks of solidarity between neighbours and relatives.
Before going to war, Generals Burhane and Daglo had together ousted civilians from power with their 2021 putsch. Two years earlier, the army had agreed under street pressure to dismiss dictator Omar al-Bashir, who had been in power for 30 years.