Turkish Evacuation Plane Comes Under Attack In Sudan
Heavy explosions and gunfire have continued to rock parts of Sudan’s capital Khartoum and its twin city Omdurman despite a ceasefire. At least 500 people have been killed, including reportedly two American citizens, as fighting reaches two weeks amid the power struggle between two rival generals representing Sudanese Armed Forces and the paramilitary group Rapid Support Forces.
“Many areas that saw very active fighting at the beginning have become quieter than before. Yet, I cannot say there is a total ceasefire in those places,” a Khartoum resident told Al Jazeera on Friday. “I don’t think anyone has gone to school in the last 14 days. I don’t think anyone has been to a hospital.”
A massive foreign evacuation effort involving many countries sending military transport planes has continued for the better part of a week. The United States administration, however, has said that it is not conducting a large-scale evacuation operation for the estimated 16,000 US citizens who live in Sudan, many of them dual nationals who have made the country their home.
But this international rescue effort appears to now be coming under threat, after new reports that a Turkish evacuation plane came under gunfire while landing at Wadi Seyidna airport outside Khartoum. The aircraft, a C-130, had its fuel supply system damaged by the ground gunfire.
The Turkish defense ministry confirmed the damage but without naming a culprit. “Light weapons were fired on our C-130 evacuation plane … Our plane landed safely. Although there are no injuries to our personnel, necessary repairs are being carried out on our aircraft,” it said.
The national army said the Rapid Support Forces of Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo mounted the attack on the plane as it was landing, but the RSF rejected the accusation as part of the national army “spreading lies”.
“Our forces have remained strictly committed to the humanitarian truce that we agreed upon since midnight, and it is not true that we targeted any aircraft in the sky of Wadi Seyidna in Omdurman,” the RSF said. Fighting has been witnessed elsewhere in the country, which could signal a slide toward full-scale civil war, as the AFP is reporting 74 dead in two days of fighting in the West Darfur capital of El Geneina.
Sudan army and a rival force agree to extend an existing ceasefire even as battles rage.
— AFP News Agency (@AFP) April 28, 2023
The rival military factions reached an agreement to extend their ceasefire from midnight local time (22:00 GMT on Thursday) for an additional three days, but by many accounts it’s barely holding, if at all.
Fri, 04/28/2023 – 10:50