Smoke rises above buildings in Khartoum on April 15, 2023, amid reported clashes in the city Smoke rises above buildings in Khartoum on April 15, 2023, amid reported clashes in the city  (AFP or licensors)

Locals take shelter as fighting erupts in Sudan

Paramilitary troops claim to be in control of the presidential palace and the airport in Khartoum as fighting breaks out in Sudan.

By Nathan Morley

Heavy fighting between the army and paramilitary has broken out in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan.

Shooting and blasts have been heard in the Sudanese capital after days of tension between an infamous paramilitary force and the national army.

Wire services report that gunfire has been heard near the headquarters of the army in the city centre.

Though not confirmed, the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) claims to have control of the main airport and presidential palace.

The US ambassador was forced to take shelter as heavy firing was heard across the city. At the same time, the British embassy has also warned nationals to remain indoors.

Transition to civilian rule

The dispute concerns a proposed transition to civilian rule. Military top brass have been administering the country, through a so-called Sovereign Council since a coup in 2021.

A projected move to a civilian-led government has foundered on the timetable to incorporate the RSF into the national army. The RSF wanted to delay it for another decade, but the army insists it should happen within the next 24 months.

The coup terminated a period of more than two years when military and civilian leaders were sharing power. That deal came after Sudan's long-term President Omar al-Bashir was ousted.

Listen to Nathan Morley's report

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15 April 2023, 16:48