A ceasefire brokered by the US between Sudan’s warring generals has entered its second day, but remains fragile as witnesses report fresh air strikes and paramilitaries claim to have seized a major oil refinery.
As combat eased, foreign governments arranged civilian evacuations. Around 245 French and foreign nationals evacuated from Sudan landed in Paris Wednesday on a plane chartered by French authorities.
“The pause was not fully upheld, with attacks on headquarters, attempts to gain ground, air strikes, and explosions in different areas of the capital,” UN Special Representative Volker Perthes told the Security Council Tuesday.
Perthes said he maintained contact with both army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and his rival, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), but “there is yet no unequivocal sign that either is ready to seriously negotiate”.
The fighting has killed hundreds of people and left areas of greater Khartoum in ruins, prompting thousands of foreigners and Sudanese to flee.
As combat eased, foreign governments have organised road convoys, aircraft and ships to evacuate their nationals.
A boat carrying nearly 1,700 civilians from over 50 countries arrived in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday. The kingdom’s foreign ministry said it had evacuated over 2,000 people, including more than 2,000 foreigners.
Other evacuation efforts continued, with a British military transport plane landing in Cyprus. Bewildered civilians were seen walking down one street in Khartoum North where almost all buildings were blasted out and smoke rose from scorched ruins, in unverified video posted on social media.
Witnesses in the same area later reported air strikes, and paramilitary forces firing anti-aircraft weapons.
The RSF posted a video in which it claimed to be in control of an oil refinery and the associated Garri power plant more than 70 kilometres north of Khartoum.
Shortly before, the army had warned in a Facebook post of “heavy movement towards the refinery in order to take advantage of the truce by taking control of the refinery”.