US Ambassador to Sudan John Godfrey, said he stayed with the diplomatic corps after waking up to the “deeply disturbing sounds of gunfire and fighting”. He called on senior military leaders to end the fighting, saying it was “very dangerous” for tensions to escalate into conflict.
In reports on Saturday, the Paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) requested It took control of the presidential palace, Khartoum International Airport and an airport in the north in Mero. The RSF alleged that the army attacked one of its bases and opened fire, including with heavy weapons.
Sudan’s military said the fighting broke out after RSF troops tried to attack its forces and described the RSF reports as “lies,” according to the AP.
A Save the Children worker in Khartoum said, “There’s been a lot of artillery and shooting since the last nine Sudanese hours.”
“Shooting is heard in Khartoum and Omdurman. We asked all employees to stay at home. “Our biggest concern is the safety of children and their families,” the employee said.
“There are armored personnel carriers and troops,” another witness said. “Heavy weapons can be heard in the distance.”
Tensions have been high for months between Sudan’s military and the power-sharing RSF paramilitary group. Sudan has been in turmoil since a military coup overthrew Sudan’s civilian government in 2021.
Sudan is “on the cusp of civil war,” said Alan Boswell, Horn of Africa director for the International Crisis Group. He too wrote in a tweet The situation will require “high-level diplomacy” after days of escalation between the armed forces and the RSF.