Smoke is seen rising in Khartoum on Saturday, April 15, 2023 | Credit | AFP
Heavy gunfire and explosions were heard Saturday morning in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, after days of tension between the army and a powerful paramilitary group, several media reports show.
“Fighters from the Rapid Support Forces attacked several army camps in Khartoum and elsewhere around Sudan,” the AFP news agency is quoting army spokesman Brig Gen Nabil Abdallah.
“Clashes are ongoing and the army is carrying out its duty to safeguard the country.”
Generals have been running the country through what is called the Sovereign Council since a coup in October 2021. The RSF is under the command of the council’s vice-president Gen Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, reported BBC.
The army, meanwhile, is led by Gen Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, who is the head of the Sovereign Council.
The rift between the forces came to the surface on Thursday when the army said recent movements by RSF – a powerful paramilitary group – had happened without coordination and were illegal, according to Al Jazeera.
The heads of both the army and RSF earlier told mediators they were ready to take steps to de-escalate the situation.
Current tensions stem from a disagreement over how the RSF should be integrated into the military and what authority should oversee the process. The merger is a key condition of Sudan’s unsigned transition agreement.
Alarabyia TV is broadcasting pictures of smoke rising from a military camp there, Reuters reports.