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Sudan: 19 killed in shelling of market in poor area south of Khartoum

Wille Okon 171 June 1, 2023

Nineteen people have been killed and 106 more injured in shelling at a market in a poor area south of Khartoum, the Sudanese Doctors Trade Union has said.

Six tank shells were fired from al-Shajara, one of the few areas the army controls in Khartoum, and targeted the neighbourhood of Mayo, an area that is not known to be near any military target, residents said.

Mayo is a poor area populated mostly by people who have not been able to afford to leave the capital city since the beginning of the war between the Sudanese army and their paramilitary rival the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) on 15 April.

The doctors group said in a statement: “The cases have been increasing, the medical staff are under pressure to deal with so many cases with limited staff, we call all doctors and medical cadres who are nearby to come to the hospital so they can help as much as they can.”

“Really it’s been the worst day I saw since the beginning of the war, scenes I will always remember of women and children and men in awful shape” said Abdelmotal Saboon a resident in the area and volunteer at the nearby al-Bashair hospital. “I do not know the reason for using the heavy artillery apart from killing innocent people.”

“Nobody can afford to leave here, all our relatives are here, they cannot flee,” said Mohamed Zain another resident of Mayo.

Almost 90% of Khartoum is controlled by the RSF.

The incident came a day after general Abdulfatah al-Burhan, the head of the Sudanese army and the de-facto leader of the country, announced he would be pulling out of US and Saudi-brokered ceasefire talks, accusing the RSF of failing to honour its commitments.

In front of army soldiers at the military headquarters, al-Burhan said they would use deadly force against the enemy.

“We are carrying this battle on behalf of the Sudanese people, we are seeing what happened to them. We do not want to use deadly force … but if the enemy did not comply and respond we will be obliged to use it. Do not listen to the media, it’s fake, the army is one and the army is all over Sudan … all the Sudanese people are soldiers, they are all standing with you in this battle.”

US and Saudi mediators have blamed both sides for violating the truce which was supposed to enable secure corridors for delivering aid to an increasingly needy population.

Different parts of Khartoum’s neighbouring city of Omdurman have been witnessing heavy artillery since Wednesday, with military sources saying that they are targeting RSF forces stationed at the national TV station there and a strategic building in the capital that was taken by the RSF on Wednesday.

More than 1,000 people have been killed in Khartoum and thousands more injured in the war between the two forces. In West Darfur State there has been a blackout for about two weeks and doctors said 2,000 people have been killed in one of the deadliest clashes between militias affiliated with the RSF and local people.