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Wednesday, September 27, 2023

clashes reported in Port Sudan

Witnesses reported that clashes broke out Monday evening between the Sudanese army and a tribal militia in Port Sudan (east). The city had until now been spared from the war that has been raging for five months in Sudan. It is home to the country’s only still operational airport and the UN has established its logistics center there.

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There was “an exchange of fire between the army and a militia led by Sheba Darar”, a leader of the local Beja tribe, in central Port Sudan, said a witness who resides in this coastal town of the Red Sea. Another resident reported, on condition of anonymity, a “return to calm” shortly after, with “army soldiers deployed in the area” following the removal of “checkpoints set up place by the militias.”

Since April 15, the war between the army, led by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhaneand the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) of his former deputy, Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, was mainly concentrated in Khartoum, the capital, and the western region of Darfur.

Port Sudan, which is home to the country’s only still operational airport and where the UN has established its logistics center, had until then been spared the fighting which left thousands dead and millions displaced.

Since the end of August, this city has served as a new base for the head of the army after the army headquarters in Khartoum was besieged by the RSF. From Port Sudan, General Burhane carried out six trips abroad as part of what analysts see as a diplomatic effort to restore its image in the event of negotiations aimed at ending the conflict with Daglo.

Read alsoSudan: General al-Burhan meets Turkish president in Ankara

Sheba Darar, the leader of the Beja, supported the army at the start of the war before rebelling against government officials settling in eastern Sudan. However, he did not announce an alliance with the paramilitaries who form the FSR.

The conflict has left nearly 7,500 dead, according to a conservative estimate by the NGO Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (Acled). Fighting has intensified in Khartoum since Saturday, sparking fires in several key buildings in the center of the capital.

(with AFP)

Read alsoSudan: violent fighting in Khartoum, army headquarters attacked

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