Tuesday, 5th March 2024
To guardian.ng
Search

Sudan fighting mars shaky truce as ex-regime members flee prison

Sudanese war crimes suspect, part of the Islamist regime ousted in 2019, has escaped jail as heavy battles rocked the country Wednesday, heightening fears for a fragile ceasefire.

In this image grab taken from handout video footage released by the Sudanese paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) on April 23, 2023, fighters wave assault rifles as they cross a street in the East Nile district of greater Khartoum. – A US-brokered ceasefire between Sudan’s warring generals entered its second day on April 26, 2023, but remained fragile after witnesses reported fresh air strikes and paramilitaries claimed to have seized a major oil refinery and power plant. (Photo by – / Rapid Support Forces (RSF) / AFP) / ===

Sudanese war crimes suspect, part of the Islamist regime ousted in 2019, has escaped jail as heavy battles rocked the country Wednesday, heightening fears for a fragile ceasefire.

On the second full day of a three-day truce, witnesses reported “heavy air strikes” in East Nile, east of the capital, and “a huge explosion in the direction of a paramilitary camp”.

Warplanes flew over northern suburbs of Khartoum, drawing heavy anti-aircraft fire from the paramilitaries, witnesses told AFP.

In southern Khartoum, machinegun fire was reported near one of the homes owned by paramilitary commander Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, who has led the heavily armed Rapid Support Forces (RSF) into war against the armed forces, under army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan.

The army said Wednesday it would send a representative to Juba, capital of neighbouring South Sudan, for talks with the RSF “at the initiative of IGAD”, the East African regional bloc.

The talks will aim to “extend the truce by 72 hours”, the armed forces said, as the current one, which has been largely ignored, is due to end on Thursday evening.

In the chaos — which has killed hundreds, sparked an exodus, and deepened humanitarian suffering — Ahmed Harun, linked to deposed strongman Omar al-Bashir’s regime, said Tuesday he and others had escaped prison.

Harun is wanted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court in connection with the Bashir regime’s unleashing of Janjaweed militias against non-Arab ethnic minorities in Darfur.

Beginning in 2003, that conflict left around 300,000 dead and 2.5 million displaced, according to the UN.

Daglo’s RSF are descended from the Janjaweed.

After being trapped in the empty Kober jail in “the crossfire of this current battle”, Harun said in a recorded TV address that he and fellow ex-regime members had taken “our protection in our own hands”.

The ICC prosecutor’s office said it was following developments but added there was no independent confirmation of the Kober detainees’ status.

In this article

0 Comments