Speed Reads

Problems in Sudan

Dozens of deaths in Sudan as army battles paramilitary group

Fighting intensified in Sudan over the weekend, leaving the North African country rocked by violence as the army warred with a paramilitary group attempting to seize control of the government. 

As of Saturday evening, at least 56 people have died and nearly 600 have been injured, according to a translated tweet from the Central Committee of Sudan Doctors. 

The skirmish was concentrated in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum, where the Sudanese Army faced a second day of fighting against the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), a paramilitary group attempting a coup d'etat. The RSF's military leader, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, told Sky News Arabia that his forces "control more than 90 percent of strategic sites in Khartoum." This included reports that the RSF had taken over the presidential palace and the main airport in Khartoum, per The Guardian.

However, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the head of the Sudanese Army, disputed the claims of the RSF, per CNN, saying the army still controlled most government sites. Dagalo told Al Jazeera that al-Burhan was to blame, and claimed that the Sudanese Army, not the RSF, had instigated the fighting. 

Both sides had pledged just days ago that they were ready to defuse longstanding tensions, but violence erupted nevertheless, and Dagalo said that he would keep fighting until all of Sudan's military sites were under RSF control. 

Former Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok released a video condemning the violence. "I demand al-Burhan, the army commanders, and the RSF leaders to stop the bullets immediately and for the voice of reason to rule," he said. 

Hamdok had governed Sudan under a power-sharing agreement after the previous leader, Omar al-Bashir, was ousted in 2019. However, Hamdok himself was ousted in 2021 during a coup led by al-Burhan and Dagalo, who at the time were working together.