People cross into Egypt through the Argeen land port with Sudan on April 27, 2023. (Photo by Radwan Abu Elmagd/Xinhua)
KHARTOUM, May 4 (Xinhua) -- Violent clashes erupted early on Thursday in the Sudanese capital Khartoum between the Sudanese Army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), despite a seven-day truce agreed by the two parties.
"Our forces clashed at dawn today with the rebels who tried to attack the command Bahri (Khartoum North) military area," the Sudanese army said in a statement on Thursday.
"Our forces destroyed eight combat vehicles of the enemy and seized 11 vehicles, a Katyusha launcher and communication devices," the statement added.
The Sudanese army further called on the citizens to keep away from the sites of clashes and strange metal objects.
The RSF, for its part, accused the Sudanese army of violating the declared humanitarian truce and attacking their posts at dawn on Thursday.
"Our forces and residential neighborhoods came under indiscriminate artillery and aircraft bombardment in a flagrant violation of international norms as well as international and humanitarian law," the RSF said in a statement.
South Sudanese displaced by conflict in Sudan are seen at the reception center in Renk County, Upper Nile State, South Sudan, on April 30, 2023. (Photo by Denis Elamu/Xinhua)
The clashes came a few hours after the two sides agreed to a seven-day truce extension proposed by the regional African bloc Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD).
According to eyewitnesses, the clashes erupted mainly in Bahri town, Omdurman and central Khartoum.
Meanwhile, Sudan's Foreign Ministry condemned what it termed "the violations of the rebel Rapid Support Forces against embassies and diplomatic missions without the slightest regard to the declared truce or respect for international law."
"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemns the attacks by the rebel forces on the headquarters of the Indian Embassy," the ministry said in a statement.
The ministry said that it had also received complaints about attacks on the building of the Saudi cultural attache, residences of the Swiss diplomats and the consular section of the Turkish embassy.
Given that clashes have pushed the country to the edge of a humanitarian crisis, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Martin Griffiths, who arrived in Sudan's eastern city of Port Sudan on Wednesday, urged the warring parties to make pledges to ensure the safe delivery of humanitarian aid to the needy.
Staff members prepare aid packages for refugees from Sudan, in Aswan, Egypt, May 2, 2023. (Photo by Radwan Abu Elmagd/Xinhua)
To this end, the RSF Commander, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, pledged in a tweet on Thursday to open and protect humanitarian corridors to facilitate the movement of citizens in areas controlled by his forces and ensure that aid reaches the needy.
Fighting between the Sudanese army and the RSF in Khartoum and other areas erupted on April 15, with the two sides accusing each other of initiating the conflict, which has pushed the country to the edge of a humanitarian crisis.
According to UN statistics, thousands of Sudanese citizens have been displaced or forced to seek refuge in safe areas in Sudan and neighboring countries, including Egypt, Ethiopia and Chad. ■