Sudanese capital Khartoum has been turned into a desolate war zone by a month of fierce fighting between the army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF).
Shaken families have been huddling at home, with civilian houses becoming the collateral damage in the gun battles raging on the streets between the forces of army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and the head of RSF, Mohamed Hamdan “Hemedti” Dagalo.
Residents of Khartoum have endured weeks of desperate food shortages, power blackouts, communications outages and runaway inflation. Before the fighting erupted on April 15, the city of five million was considered a place of relative stability, but now shelling and air attacks are witnessed frequently.
Charred aircraft lie on the airport tarmac, foreign embassies are shuttered and hospitals, banks, shops and wheat silos have been ransacked by looters.
Violence also renewed in El Geneina, the capital of West Darfur state, leaving hundreds killed and the health system in “total collapse”, medics said.
Fighting continued on Monday, with loud explosions heard across Khartoum and thick smoke in the sky while warplanes drew anti-aircraft fire, according to witnesses.
“The situation is becoming worse by the day,” said a 37-year-old resident of southern Khartoum who did not wish to be named because of safety concerns.
“People are getting more and more scared because the two sides … are becoming more and more violent.”
Another witness reported “clashes with various types of weapons” in Omdurman, the capital’s twin city.
Nearly a million people have been displaced by the conflict, many of them taking shelter in Port Sudan about 850 kilometres (500 miles) away.
The United Nations says more than 700,000 people have been internally displaced by the fighting, and nearly 200,000 have fled Sudan for neighbouring countries.
There are fears for the stability of the wider region.
“We’re left on the street, in the sun,” complained Hamden Mohammed, who escaped the Khartoum area for Port Sudan. “We want the organisations to evacuate us from Sudan, because the country is totally devastated. There’s no food, no work … nothing.”
About 1,000 people have been killed, mainly in and around Khartoum as well as the ravaged state of West Darfur, according to medics.