Sudan: Satellite images show devastation from fighting | world news
Newly released photos show the destruction wrought in Sudan by recent violence.
Satellite images show the aftermath of explosions, fires and heavy gunfire that have shaken the capital Khartoum since Saturday.
The fighting comes amid rapidly escalating tensions between armed factions as the country prepares to transition from military to democratic civilian rule.
Nearly 100 people have reportedly been killed, including at least three civilians, in clashes between the army and paramilitary forces, with both sides disputed over who controls the presidential palace and the international airport.
US Ambassador to Sudan John Godfrey shielded himself from the violence on Saturday, saying “I urge senior military leaders to stop fighting.”
The UK government also said it “strongly condemns the ongoing violence” which “must end immediately”.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office added in its statement: “After months of fruitful political discussions and real progress towards a return to a civilian-led transition, military action is not the solution.
“The UK stands in solidarity with the people of Sudan in their demands for a peaceful and democratic future.
“Innocent civilians should not pay the price of their future because of this violence.”
The recent violence stems from a power struggle between the Sudanese army and militias under the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) banner.
Former dictator Omar al-Bashir founded the RSF in 2013 from a number of pre-existing militant groups known as the Janjaweed, which have long been synonymous with genocide and other atrocities perpetrated in the Darfur region.
Led by General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, also known as Hemedti, the RSF conspired with the Sudanese army under General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan to oust Bashir in 2019.
This was shortly followed by the RSF’s brutal dispersal of civilian protesters outside the military headquarters in Khartoum, killing hundreds of peaceful protesters and raping dozens.
A deal was later reached with civilian groups who led the initial protests against Bashir to eventually bring Sudan under democratic rule, but this was blocked by a coup that returned control of the country to the army in October 2021.
The coup brought tensions to the surface between Generals Hemedti and al-Burhan, with Hemedti widely reported to be deeply angered by his official position as deputy on Sudan’s Governing Council.
The security situation in Sudan also has broader implications. Internal instability and conflict have strained relations with neighboring countries such as Ethiopia, with whom there are ongoing disputes over ownership of farmland along the border.
The US and Britain, meanwhile, are concerned at the prospect of Russia capitalizing on cordial relations with the Sudanese military leadership to set up a military base along the Red Sea coast.
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