Fierce clashes continue in Sudan despite 7 day truce

Khartoum, May 5 : Khartoum and several other areas in Sudan witnessed continued violent clashes between the army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) despite a seven-day truce agreed by the two warring factions. The violent clashes between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the RSF which erupted on April 15, has so far left more than 550 people dead and 4,926 others wounded, while thousands of citizens have been displaced or forced to seek refuge in safe areas or neighbouring countries, including Egypt, Ethiopia and Chad, reports Xinhua news agency. On Thursday, the SAF announced that its units clashed with RSF fighters in the town of Bahri, north of capital Khartoum. "Our forces clashed at dawn today with the rebels who tried to attack the command Bahri military area," the army said in a statement. "Our forces destroyed eight combat vehicles of the enemy and seized 11 vehicles, a Katyusha launcher and communication devices," the statement added. The SAF further called on the citizens to keep away from the sites of clashes and strange metal objects. The RSF, for its part, accused the army of violating the declared humanitarian truce and attacking their posts at on Thursday. "Our forces and residential neighbourhoods came under indiscriminate artillery and aircraft bombardment in a flagrant violation of international norms as well as international and humanitarian law," the paramilitary said in a statement. Meanwhile, violent clashes also took place on Thursday in El-Obeid, the capital city of North Kordofan state. "El-Obeid city and the command of the 5th Infantry Division came under a treacherous attack by the rebels today," the SAF said. "The enemy was crushed and suffered heavy losses and its remnants are being chased out of the city." The army said that the operational situation in all parts of Sudan was stable and calm, except for parts of the capital and El-Obeid city. The incidents of violence came a few hours after the two sides agreed to a seven-day truce extension proposed by the regional African bloc Inter-Governmental Authority on Development. Earlier in the day, the Foreign Ministry condemned what it termed "the violations of the rebel RSF against embassies and diplomatic missions without the slightest regard to the declared truce or respect for international law". "The Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemns the attacks by the rebel forces on the headquarters of the Indian Embassy," it said in a statement. The Ministry said that it had also received complaints about attacks on the building of the Saudi cultural attache, residences of the Swiss diplomats, and the consular section of the Turkish Embassy. Given that the clashes have pushed the country to the edge of a humanitarian crisis, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Martin Griffiths, who arrived in the eastern city of Port Sudan on Wednesday, urged the warring parties to ensure the safe delivery of humanitarian aid to the needy. To this end, RSF Commander Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo pledged to open and protect humanitarian corridors to facilitate the movement of citizens in areas controlled by his forces. /IANS


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