Sudan crisis: Air strikes hit Khartoum despite truce
Air strikes have pounded Sudan’s capital, Khartoum, despite a truce aimed at allowing civilians to flee.
The army said it was attacking the city to flush out its paramilitary rivals, the Rapid Support Forces (RSF).
The fighting intensified even as the warring sides said they would extend the truce by another three days.
More than 500 deaths have been reported with the true number of casualties believed to be much higher. Millions remain trapped in Khartoum.
Army commander Gen Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and RSF chief Gen Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, better known as Hemedti, are vying for power – and disagree in particular about plans to include the RSF into the army.
The generals agreed a humanitarian truce after intensive diplomatic efforts by neighbouring countries, the United States (US), the United Kingdom and the United Nations. It was extended, but did not hold.
However, it remains unclear on what they will do in the next stage of the deal arrived at with US and Saudi mediation, according to the army.
The country is now in a civil war, says Sudanese businessman and philanthropist Mo Ibrahim, and its conflict must not be allowed to spill over its borders and become regional.
“We don’t want another Syria,” he told the BBC, adding that it was difficult for either side to win outright.
BBC diplomatic correspondent Paul Adams, who is monitoring events from the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, said the fighting is concentrated mainly in the north of Khartoum, close to the confluence of the Blue and White Niles, but right across the city, people are huddled in their homes, wondering whether it is more dangerous to stay or leave.
The army will find it difficult to expel the RSF from Khartoum – for all the army’s superior firepower, the paramilitaries are highly mobile and more suited to urban warfare, our correspondent adds.– BBC