As fighting broke out with the army on Saturday, Sudan’s paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) announced that they had taken control of the international airport in Khartoum.
Witnesses claimed that gunfire was also heard in adjacent cities, and it could be heard in several areas of Khartoum.
A journalist for Reuters witnessed the deployment of armored vehicles and cannons in the streets as well as the sound of heavy weapon fire in the vicinity of the army and RSF headquarters.
The RSF said in a proclamation assuming command over Khartoum global air terminal in the capital and the Merowe army installation in the north of the country had been capable.
On Saturday there was a weighty trade of gunfire in Merowe, observers told Reuters.
An assertion by the RSF on Saturday considered the military’s activities a “savage attack” and called for it to be censured. It said that the RSF had been in touch with nearby and global go betweens to illuminate them.
The RSF had previously stated that the army had surrounded one of its bases and fired heavy weapons.
The army said in a statement on Saturday that the Sudanese air force is conducting operations to confront the powerful paramilitary RSF as clashes broke out across the country.
Reuters was unable to independently verify footage from broadcasters that showed a military aircraft in the sky above the capital, Khartoum.
Conflicts at Sudanese state television central command – anchor
Conflicts are occurring at the central command of Sudan’s state television, an anchor who showed up on the screen momentarily said on Saturday
Shots could be heard behind the scenes, a Reuters witness said.
During discussions last month regarding the RSF’s integration into the military as part of a transition plan that would result in new elections, the RSF, which together with the army overthrew the long-ruling autocrat Omar al-Bashir in 2019, began redeploying units in Khartoum and elsewhere.
The viciousness followed long stretches of strain between the military and the RSF, a strong paramilitary gathering headed by Broad Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, otherwise called Hemedti.
This raised concerns regarding a conflict that could jeopardize ongoing efforts to restore civilian rule in Sudan following power struggles and military coups.
Hemedti had placed himself at the forefront of a planned transition to democracy, which alarmed other military rulers and prompted the mobilization of troops in Khartoum, the capital.
Since 2019, Hemedti, a former leader of Darfur’s militia, has served as the deputy leader of the ruling Sovereign Council, which is led by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan.
In a vast nation that is already experiencing economic collapse and outbreaks of tribal violence, a confrontation between his forces and the army could result in prolonged conflict.