Heavy fighting – including air bombardment – among rival military factions continued overnight with reports that more than 50 people had been killed and hundreds wounded.
Armed clashes broke out in Sudan’s capital Khartoum on Saturday between the regular army and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) – a paramilitary group.
The fighting that has erupted is a direct result of a vicious power struggle within the country’s military leadership.
Army units loyal to the de facto leader, Gen Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, are battling the RSF, the paramilitary force commanded by Sudan’s deputy leader, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, better known as Hemedti.
Reports from the capital early on Sunday morning said two people were killed at Khartoum Airport, four in neighbouring Omdurman, eight in the city of Nyala, six in the city of El Obeid and five in El Fasher,
South Africa has since joined the UN, African Union (AU), and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in calling for the cessation of hostilities in Sudan that are placing civilians at risk.
“The Government of the Republic of South Africa has noted with concern and strongly condemns the fighting that has erupted this morning in several parts of Khartoum, and other areas outside the capital between the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and the RSF,” Clayson Monyela, Spokesperson for the Department of International Relations and Cooperation said Saturday.
“The South African Government calls for peace and calm among the parties involved in the conflict, in keeping with the AU objective of silencing the guns on the continent.
“South Africa appeals to the different factions of the Sudanese army to immediately cease all fighting, spare the Sudanese people any further violence during this holy month of Ramadan and immediately return to the negotiation table, to agree on a sustainable military and security sector reform programme, as part of the Final Agreement towards the restoration of a civilian-led transitional government in Sudan.”
Monyela said the situation in Sudan was disturbing as it affects ordinary people who have suffered from instability in the country over a prolonged period.
“South Africa joins AU, the IGAD and the UN Secretary-General António Guterres in their call on the parties to return to the negotiating table and continue their dialogue with the aim of transitioning the country to a civilian-led government,” said Monyela.
Kenya’s President William Ruto said his country was greatly concerned about the developing crisis in Sudan.
“I implore all parties to address any differences through peaceful means for the sake of the security of the people of Sudan and stability in the country and the region, especially during this holy month of Ramadhan.,” President Ruto said.
“The outbreak of violence will only reverse the important gains Sudan has made, to the detriment of its lasting peace and prosperity.
“Kenya and the IGAD states are available and ready to contribute to the resolution of this unfortunate situation.
“I am actively consulting with the regional leadership and other relevant international partners to seek ways to support dialogue and mediation in Sudan.”
Sudans armed forces have rejected suggestions of negotiations or dialogue with the RSF, which they have labeled as rebels.
There will be no negotiations or dialogue until the dissolution of the paramilitary RSF, the armed forces said on its Facebook page.
The UK and US embassies in the capital city are urging their citizens to stay indoors.