Sudan: Fighting continues, “100 prisoners of war” released for Eid al-Adha

Fighting raged in Khartoum on Tuesday between paramilitaries who threatened to take the city and the army, which is now calling on all young people in Sudan to join the flag on the eve of Eid al-Adha. General Mohamed Hamdane Daglo’s Rapid Support Forces also announced the release of “100 prisoners of war” on the occasion of this important Muslim holiday.

Fighting raged in Sudan on the eve of Eid al-Adha. The paramilitaries threatened on Tuesday, June 27, to take Khartoum, and the army is now calling on all young people in Sudan to sign up for the flag.

In the capital, fighting between the army, led by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhane, and General Mohamed Hamdane Daglo’s Rapid Support Forces (RSF) is now concentrated around military bases.

Since the start of the war on 15 April, the FSR has been present en masse in the residential areas where they had established their bases for a long time. The army is trying to play its most important asset: the air, which it controls alone, without its infantry managing to gain a foothold in the vast city crossed by the two arms of the Nile.

For several days, the FSR has been trying to take the last army bases in the capital, where millions of residents are still hiding – nearly a million and a half have fled, fleeing stray bullets and water and electricity cuts in the searing heat.

The RSF took over police headquarters and its huge arsenal in southern Khartoum and on Tuesday harassed the army at bases in central, northern and southern Khartoum, residents told AFP. If they take these last bases, they will have taken control of Khartoum, the experts assure.

Under fire, Mawaheb Omar, holed up in his home with his four children, tells AFP of an Eid celebration that promises to be “miserable and tasteless: we can’t even buy mutton”. Eid al-Adha is the biggest holiday in the Muslim calendar, where the faithful must sacrifice an animal in memory of Abraham, who, according to tradition, had burned a sheep in extremis instead of his son Ismail. .

Release of “100 Prisoners of War”

On the occasion of Eid, the two warring generals shared a message to the nation. General Burhane calls on state television “all the young people of the country and all those who can defend it not to hesitate to do so (…) or join the military units”.

And General Daglo, in a voice recording posted online, responded to allegations of UN “crimes against humanity” and “ethnic” war in Darfur, where his former militiamen are accused of atrocities in the bloody war that began in 2003 .

On Tuesday, the Troika for Sudan – Norway, the US and the UK – again condemned “human rights abuses, sexual violence and violence with an ethnic dimension, globally attributed to the FSR and their allied militias”. The head of the paramilitaries promised “swift and stern action” against his men who carried out such abuses, while the FSR claims to have begun to prosecute certain “undisciplined” members.

The paramilitaries also announced the release of “100 (soldiers) prisoners of war”. Since the beginning of the conflict, the two camps have exchanged hostages several times via the Red Cross without ever specifying the number of prisoners they still hold.

General Daglo, himself from an Arab tribe in Darfur, urged “avoid plunging into civil war” in this gold-rich region, where more than a quarter of Sudanese live. General Burhane, he condemned there, like many residents of non-Arab ethnic groups, a “genocide” on the FSR.

The army must face new fronts

In difficulties in Khartoum, the army must face new fronts: a rebel group is now attacking it in Kordofan, south of Khartoum, and in the Blue Nile bordering Ethiopia.

The UN mission in Sudan, which withdrew almost all its staff from the country at the start of the war, said it was “deeply concerned” by the violence in Kurmuk, a Blue Nile locality from which “hundreds of civilians fled to Ethiopia”.

In total, more than two million people have been displaced in Sudan since April 15, while another 600,000 have fled the country, mainly to Egypt in the north and Chad in the west.

The UN and humanitarian organizations say they are short of funds and warn: The rainy season, from June to September, greatly jeopardizes their ability to act, while 25 million people need humanitarian aid to survive.

And with the rain comes epidemics of malaria, cholera and dengue fever.

With AFP

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