Passengers fleeing war-torn Sudan arrive at Qastal Lan Port crossing between Egypt and Sudan on May 13, 2023. Air strikes pummelled Khartoum, with representatives of Sudan's warring factions meeting in Saudi Arabia for talks to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe as the fighting entered a fifth week. (Photo by Khaled DESOUKI / AFP)

Sudan’s capital under bombardment despite ongoing negotiations between rivals

Passengers fleeing war-torn Sudan arrive at Qastal Lan Port crossing between Egypt and Sudan on May 13, 2023. Air strikes pummelled Khartoum, with representatives of Sudan’s warring factions meeting in Saudi Arabia for talks to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe as the fighting entered a fifth week. (Photo by Khaled DESOUKI / AFP)

Shelling and air strikes pounded parts of Sudan’s capital on Sunday with little sign that warring military factions were ready to back down in a conflict that has killed hundreds despite ceasefire talks in Saudi Arabia.

Khartoum and the adjoining cities of Bahri and Omdurman across the Nile’s two branches have been the main theatre of conflict along with western Darfur province since the army and Rapid Support Forces paramilitary started fighting a month ago.

Shelling struck Bahri and air strikes hit Omdurman early on Sunday, according to a Reuters reporter and witnesses. Al Arabiya television reported heavy clashes in central Khartoum.

“There were heavy air strikes near us in Saliha that shook the doors of the house,” said Salma Yassin, a teacher in Omdurman.

The fighting has killed hundreds of people, sent 200,000 into neighboring countries as refugees, displaced another 700,000 inside Sudan triggering a humanitarian catastrophe and threatens to draw in outside powers and destabilize the region.

The number of people killed in fighting on Friday and Saturday in Geneina, capital of West Darfur, reached more than 100, including the imam of the city’s old mosque, the Darfur Bar Association said in a statement.

The local rights group blamed the killings, looting and arson in Geneina, where hundreds died in violence last month, on attacks by armed groups on motorbikes and the RSF. The RSF has denied responsibility for the unrest.

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