In the latest escalation of violence in Sudan, pro-democracy lawyers reported that clashes between rival Sudanese forces, including air strikes on the capital Khartoum, have resulted in the tragic loss of at least 33 civilians. The nation has been engulfed in nearly nine months of conflict, with the main contenders being army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and his former deputy, paramilitary commander Mohamed Hamdan Daglo.
The toll of this protracted war has been devastating, with a conservative estimate by the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data project indicating at least 12,190 lives lost, while the United Nations reports that over seven million people have been displaced.
The recent incident unfolded on Thursday, as aerial bombings in Khartoum’s Soba district claimed the lives of 23 civilians, leaving several others wounded, according to the Emergency Lawyers group. The lawyer’s group, holding the army responsible for maintaining control of the skies, also confirmed an additional 10 deaths resulting from artillery strikes in southern Khartoum.
Corroborating this information, a local resistance committee reported the same casualties, stating that “10 civilians were killed by artillery fire in residential areas and the local market.”
The epicenter of the conflict, which commenced in mid-April within the capital, has shifted southward and recently reached Sudan’s Al-Jazira state, where hundreds of thousands sought refuge. In the war-ravaged capital, controlled by Daglo’s Rapid Support Forces (RSF), fighting persists, while Burhan’s administration issues statements as the Sudanese government.
Notably, RSF controls the majority of the western Darfur region and expanded its presence in Al-Jazira state in December, breaching one of the country’s few remaining sanctuaries.
The resistance committees, pivotal in providing aid during the conflict, had previously organized pro-democracy protests before the 2021 coup by Burhan and Daglo disrupted the country’s democratic transition.
Daglo, in his first foreign trip since the conflict’s onset, visited several African capitals, including Addis Ababa, where he signed a declaration with former Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok. Analysts suggest this move is aimed at positioning Daglo as a key interlocutor.