Evacuation efforts continue as fighting engulfs capital

Egypt said a member of its mission in Sudan had been wounded by a gunshot, without giving details.

A destroyed military vehicle in the south of the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, on Thursday.

A destroyed military vehicle in the south of the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, on Thursday.Credit: AP

US President Joe Biden said his country was temporarily suspending operations at its embassy in Khartoum, but he said the US remained committed to the Sudanese people, reiterating calls for a ceasefire.

“The belligerent parties must implement an immediate and unconditional ceasefire, allow unhindered humanitarian access, and respect the will of the people of Sudan,” Biden said in a statement.

The fighting broke out in Khartoum, along with its adjoining sister cities of Omdurman and Bahri, and other parts of the country on April 15, four years after long-ruling autocrat Omar al-Bashir was toppled during a popular uprising.

The army and RSF jointly staged a coup in 2021, but fell out during negotiations over a plan to form a civilian government and integrate the RSF into the armed forces.

General Abdel-Fattah Burhan, commander of the Sudanese Armed Forces, during a televised address on Friday.

General Abdel-Fattah Burhan, commander of the Sudanese Armed Forces, during a televised address on Friday.Credit: Sudan Armed Forces via AP

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said his country’s armed forces had evacuated diplomatic staff and their family members.

US officials said special forces using aircraft, including MH-47 Chinook helicopters, swept into Sudan’s battle-stricken capital on Saturday from a US base in Djibouti, spending just one hour on the ground before bringing out fewer than 100 people.

“We did not take any small-arms fire on the way in and were able to get in and out without issue,” said Lieutenant General Douglas Sims, the director of operations at the military’s Joint Staff.


Chris Maier, an assistant secretary of defence, said the US military might use drone or satellite imagery to detect threats to Americans travelling on overland routes out of Sudan, or position naval assets at Port Sudan to aid Americans arriving there.

Ceasefire breached

Sudan’s sudden collapse into warfare has dashed plans to restore civilian rule, brought an already impoverished country to the brink of humanitarian disaster and threatened a wider conflict that could draw in outside powers.

Beyond Khartoum, reports of the worst violence have come from Darfur, a western region bordering Chad that suffered a conflict that escalated from 2003 leaving 300,000 people dead and 2.7 million displaced.

The army under Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and the RSF, headed by Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, known as Hemedti, have failed to observe ceasefires agreed almost daily, including a three-day truce for the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr, which began on Friday.

For the first time since the start of the fighting, a video was posted that briefly showed Hemedti in battle dress in the passenger seat of a pick-up truck, surrounded by cheering troops, near Khartoum’s presidential palace.

Reuters was able to confirm the location used in the video, but was not able to independently verify the date the video was filmed.

Burhan said on Monday that he was based at the army headquarters in central Khartoum, about two kilometres from the palace.

Battles have continued around the army’s HQ and the airport, which has been closed by the clashes, and over the past two days in Bahri, where the army has used troops on the ground as well as air strikes to try to push back the RSF.

The RSF said on Sunday that its forces were targeted by airstrikes in Bahri’s Kafouri district and that dozens were “killed and injured”.

RSF forces were heavily deployed in the streets and on the bridges across the capital, with army troops visible in parts of Omdurman, a Reuters reporter said. Neighbourhoods were otherwise largely empty of civilians and ordinary life.

In Bahri, a video verified by Reuters showed a major market burning. Residents reported looting in the district, which is home to industrial zones containing important flour mills.

World Health Organisation head Tedros Ghebreyesus described multiple deadly attacks on health facilities. “Paramedics, frontline nurses and doctors are often unable to access the wounded and the injured cannot reach facilities,” he tweeted.


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