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Gunfight erupts in Khartoum, militias say they have taken over presidential palace

The U.S. Ambassador to Sudan, John Godfrey, said escalating tensions to direct fighting was “extremely dangerous” and urgently called on senior leaders to stop the clashes. The embassy staff said they were evacuating there.

The military said the RSF attempted to attack troops in several positions after witnesses reported heavy gunfire in multiple parts of the country, raising fears of a full-blown conflict.

The RSF, which analysts say has a force of 100,000, said its forces were the first to be attacked.

Earlier, the RSF, led by former militia leader General Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo, better known as Hemeti, said its forces had surrounded one of its bases and opened fire with heavy weapons.

A protracted confrontation between the RSF and the military could significantly worsen the security situation across a vast country already grappling with an economic collapse and resurgence of tribal violence.

Civilian parties that signed the first power-sharing agreements with the military and RSF called for an end to hostilities. Separately, Russian and US embassies also called for an end to the violence.

Gunshots were heard in several parts of Khartoum, while several civilian casualties were reported.credit: APs

Hostilities follow days of tension between the military and the RSF and could undermine long-running efforts to restore Sudan to civilian rule after a power struggle and military coup.

Once one of Darfur’s most feared militia leaders, Hemeti was at the forefront of plans for a transition to democracy, unsettling fellow military rulers and sparking the mobilization of troops in the capital, Khartoum.

Cracks between the armed forces surfaced on Thursday when the military said recent moves by the RSF, particularly in Merowe, were illegal.

In a statement, the RSF said the actions by military leaders and “some officers” were an attack on its forces and intended to create instability.

Witnesses told Reuters news agency that there was a heavy gunfight in Merowe on Saturday.

The RSF on Saturday called the military’s actions a condemned “brutal attack”. RSF said it had informed national and international mediators of the developments.

The RSF, which joined forces with the army to overthrow longtime dictator Omar al-Bashir in 2019, regrouped in Khartoum and elsewhere last month amid talks about its integration into the military under a transition plan leading to new elections. Placement started.

https://www.smh.com.au/world/africa/gunfire-in-sudanese-capital-as-paramilitary-says-it-has-taken-control-of-presidential-palace-20230415-p5d0qv.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_world Gunfight erupts in Khartoum, militias say they have taken over presidential palace

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