Nineteen people have been killed and 106 more injured in shelling at a market in a poor area south of Khartoum, the Sudanese Doctors Trade Union has said.
Six tank shells were fired from al-Shajara, one of the few areas the army controls in Khartoum, and targeted the neighbourhood of Mayo, an area that is not known to be near any military target, residents said.
Mayo is a poor area populated mostly by people who have not been able to afford to leave the capital city since the beginning of the war between the Sudanese army and their paramilitary rival the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) on April 15th.
The doctors group said in a statement: “The cases have been increasing. The medical staff are under pressure to deal with so many cases with limited staff. We call all doctors and medical cadres who are nearby to come to the hospital so they can help as much as they can.”
“Really, it’s been the worst day I saw since the beginning of the war – scenes I will always remember of women and children and men in awful shape,” said Abdelmotal Saboon, a resident in the area and volunteer at the nearby al-Bashair hospital. “I do not know the reason for using the heavy artillery apart from killing innocent people.”
“Nobody can afford to leave here. All our relatives are here. They cannot flee,” said Mohamed Zain, another resident of Mayo.
Almost 90 per cent of Khartoum is controlled by the RSF.
The incident came a day after general Abdel-Fattah al-Burhan, the head of the Sudanese army and the de facto leader of the country, announced he would be pulling out of US and Saudi-brokered ceasefire talks, accusing the RSF of failing to honour its commitments.
In front of army soldiers at the military headquarters, Burhan said they would use deadly force against the enemy.
“We are carrying this battle on behalf of the Sudanese people. We are seeing what happened to them. We do not want to use deadly force but if the enemy did not comply and respond, we will be obliged to use it. Do not listen to the media, it’s fake. The army is one and the army is all over Sudan. All the Sudanese people are soldiers. They are all standing with you in this battle.”
US and Saudi mediators have blamed both sides for violating the truce which was supposed to enable secure corridors for delivering aid to an increasingly needy population.
Different parts of Khartoum’s neighbouring city of Omdurman have been witnessing heavy artillery since Wednesday, with military sources saying that they are targeting RSF forces stationed at the national TV station there and a strategic building in the capital that was taken by the RSF on Wednesday.
More than 1.2 million people have been displaced internally by the fighting and an additional 400,000 have fled across borders, the UN said on Tuesday. At least 730 have been killed, according to official counts, but real numbers are likely far higher.
Outside Khartoum, clashes have flared in major cities in the western region of Darfur. A regional rights group said at least 50 people have been killed in the last week in the westernmost city of Geneina, which has already seen hundreds killed in militia attacks.
In the city of Zalingei, the group said that city’s hospital and university were looted and people were being killed “randomly”. – Guardian Service