Key events in Sudan as fighting hits 17 days
The country’s warring factions continue to fight despite saying they would extend a barely respected 72-hour ceasefire.
Published On 1 May 2023
Here is the situation on Monday, May 1, 2023:
- Sudan’s army and its rival, the Rapid Support Forces paramilitary, said they would extend a humanitarian ceasefire another 72 hours, but the shaky truce has so far failed to stop the fighting.
- Both military forces accused the other of ceasefire violations. The agreement has de-escalated the fighting in some areas, but violence continues to push civilians to flee.
- Witnesses reported continued battles as well as fighter jets soaring over parts of Khartoum and the capital’s twin city, Omdurman, on the other side of the Nile River.
- The Central Reserve Police, a paramilitary unit, has been deployed across Khartoum to “protect citizens’ properties” from looting, the Sudanese police said, confirming an army statement.
- The Civil Aviation Authority announced Sudan’s airspace would remain closed until May 13 with the exception of aid and evacuation flights.
- More than 500 people have been killed, and tens of thousands have fled since battles erupted on April 15.
- The United Nations chief said the UN’s top humanitarian official is heading to the region due to the “rapidly deteriorating humanitarian crisis”.
- More than 5,000 people have escaped to safety on Saudi Arabian ships, crossing the Red Sea from Port Sudan, the kingdom said.
- Sudanese journalist Mohamed Alamin Ahmed, who is in Khartoum, told Al Jazeera that people had many reasons to escape the capital. “People are fleeing Khartoum not only because of the humanitarian situation and the bombs that have fallen on houses of civilians, because of random shelling and air strikes, but also because of looting civilians in the streets and even inside their houses,” he said.
Diplomacy and evacuations
- The United Kingdom said it will operate an additional evacuation flight from Port Sudan on Monday after already airlifting more than 2,000 people out of the country from an airport near Khartoum.
- Canada said it is ending its evacuation flights because of “dangerous conditions”.
- Egypt has called an Arab League meeting of its permanent delegates on Monday to discuss the violence in Sudan.
- Two US officials said the United States sent a navy ship to evacuate its citizens.
- Nearly 1,000 Americans have been evacuated, US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said in a statement, adding that a government convoy arrived in Port Sudan to take US citizens and other eligible people to Saudi Arabia.
An update on our evacuation efforts in Sudan: A second USG-organized convoy arrived in Port Sudan today. We are assisting U.S. citizens and others who are eligible with onward travel to Jeddah, where additional personnel are ready to assist with consular & emergency services.
— Matthew Miller (@StateDeptSpox) April 30, 2023
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies