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More than 30 killed in strikes on Sudan capital: NGO

Fighting between rival Sudanese forces including air strikes on the capital Khartoum have killed at least 33 civilians, pro-democracy lawyers said overnight to Friday. Sudan has been gripped by nearly nine months of war pitting army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan against his former deputy, paramilitary commander Mohamed Hamdan Daglo. The war has claimed at least 12,190 lives according to a conservative estimate by the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data project, and the United Nations says more than seven million people have been displaced. On Thursday, 23 civilians were killed and several more wounded by aerial bombing in south Khartoum’s Soba district, the Emergency Lawyers group said, accusing the army which maintains control of the skies. The lawyer group confirmed 10 other deaths in artillery strikes, also in southern Khartoum. A local group known as a resistance committee had reported the same deaths, saying “10 civilians were killed by artillery fire in residential areas and the local market”. The focus of the war, which erupted in mid-April in the capital, has shifted south and recently reached Sudan’s Al-Jazira state where hundreds of thousands of people had sought refuge. The streets of the war-ravaged capital, where fighting continues, are controlled by Daglo’s Rapid Support Forces (RSF), while Burhan’s administration still puts out statements as the Sudanese government. The RSF also holds nearly all of the western Darfur region, and in December pressed deeper into Al-Jazira state, shattering one of the country’s few remaining sanctuaries. The resistance committees, which have provided assistance during the war, had organised pro-democracy protests before a 2021 coup by Burhan and Daglo derailed the country’s democratic transition. The two generals then fell out, leading to war. Daglo toured several African capitals since late December in his first foreign trip since the start of the conflict. In Addis Ababa, he signed a declaration with the former Sudanese prime minister Abdalla Hamdok in what analysts say was a bid to position himself as a key interlocutor. Both the army and the RSF have been accused of war crimes during the war. International mediation efforts so far by the United States, Saudi Arabia and more recently the east African bloc IGAD have failed.

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