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Bullet holes in the wall of a building at the Souk Sitta in Khartoum Bullet holes in the wall of a building at the Souk Sitta in Khartoum  (AFP or licensors)

Violence surges in Sudan after collapse of ceasefire deal

At least 19 people were killed and more than 100 wounded in Sudan on Wednesday when rockets hit a market in the capital Khartoum. The violence erupted as truce talks between Sudan’s rival military forces collapsed.

By Linda Bordoni

Rockets hit a market in Khartoum, killing and wounding scores of people in an attack on Wednesday that caused the most civilian casualties in a single incident since the war began in mid-April.

Heavy fire was reported on Thursday across the River Nile from Khartoum in the cities of Bahri and Omdurman.

The upsurge of fighting between Sudanese government forces and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) comes as truce talks mediated by the US and Saudi Arabia were suspended.

The attack on the market, perpetrated with artillery fire and aerial bombardments brings the official civilian death toll over seven weeks to at least 883 - though the real number is likely to be far higher.

Neighbourhood organisations - which have been helping Khartoum's residents get food and medicine – described the situation as catastrophic and appealed for doctors and blood donations.

Collapse of ceasefire

On Tuesday, the army and its paramilitary rivals had agreed to extend last week's humanitarian ceasefire deal for another five days, but the next day the army withdrew from the talks, alleging the RSF was not committed to the terms.

The ceasefire deal had allowed some urgent aid to reach around two million people, but the continued insecurity has reportedly prevented delivery to many more and blocked operations to restore essential services.

According to the UN, 25 million people, more than half the population of Sudan, are now in need of humanitarian aid and protection.

But as violence continues, warehouses storing food aid for 4.4 million people, are reportedly coming under attack,  directly depriving food from the mouths of the hungry.

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01 June 2023, 16:35