Friday, October 27, 2023

Sudan War’s Deadly Air Raid: 46 Killed in One of the Worst Attacks, Say Activists

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Air Strikes Kill Dozens in Sudan’s Capital: One of the Deadliest Attacks in Months of War

At least 46 people were killed and dozens injured in a devastating air strike at a market in Khartoum, Sudan’s capital. This attack marks one of the deadliest single incidents in Sudan’s nearly five months of war. The bombing occurred in the southern part of the city, just a week after another air strike killed 20 civilians.

The local resistance committee, which previously organized pro-democracy protests and now provides assistance during the war, reported that the number of victims in the “Qouro market massacre” had risen to 46 by evening. The committee also stated that there were “dozens wounded” and casualties continued to pour into the nearby Bashair hospital.

The war in Sudan began on April 15 between army chief Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan and his former deputy, Mohamed Hamdan Daglo. According to the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project, nearly 7,500 people have been killed since then. The armed forces control the skies over Khartoum, while the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) dominate the city’s streets.

The army has been accused of indiscriminate shelling of residential areas where the paramilitaries have embedded themselves. This includes evicting families and taking over homes, which is considered a potential violation of the Geneva Conventions. The US-supported Sudan Conflict Observatory has stated that regardless of whether a target is considered a legitimate military target, civilian harm should be minimized.

The RSF accused the military of carrying out the air strikes against civilians in the south of Khartoum. However, the armed forces denied these allegations, stating that their strikes are directed at rebel gatherings, crowds, and bases as legitimate military targets. They claim to fully adhere to international humanitarian law.

In addition to the capital, fighting has been concentrated in the western region of Darfur. Western countries have accused the RSF and allied militias of committing killings based on ethnicity in Darfur. The International Criminal Court has opened a new probe into alleged war crimes.

Despite months of combat, neither side has been able to gain a decisive advantage. The United Nations reports that approximately 2.8 million people have fled the Sudanese capital, leaving behind a pre-war population of around five million. Those who remain in Khartoum are trapped by air strikes, artillery fire, and street battles. They are forced to ration essential resources such as water and electricity.

The conflict has resulted in over five million people being displaced from their homes in Sudan, with one million of them seeking refuge across borders. Truces brokered by the United States and Saudi Arabia in the early months of the war were consistently violated before talks were adjourned in June.

Recent diplomatic moves by Burhan, including trips to Egypt, South Sudan, and Qatar, suggest a potential return to negotiations. However, both Burhan and Daglo continue to exchange hostile statements, indicating that a peaceful resolution may still be far off.

The international community must condemn these attacks on civilians and exert pressure on all parties involved to prioritize the protection of innocent lives. The people of Sudan deserve peace and stability after years of conflict and suffering.

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