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Sudan’s RSF says it seized police camp as fighting rages

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The RSF said in a statement that it had taken full control of the camp belonging to the Central Reserve Police in southern Khartoum, and posted footage of its fighters inside the facility, some were removing boxes of ammunition from a warehouse.

Reuters was not immediately able to verify the footage or the RSF statement. There was no immediate comment from the army or the police.

Since late Saturday, fighting has surged in the three cities that make up the wider capital — Khartoum, Bahri and Omdurman — as the conflict between the army and the RSF entered its 11th week.

Witnesses also reported a sharp increase in violence in recent days in Nyala, the largest city in the western Darfur region. The U.N. raised the alarm Saturday over ethnic targeting and the killing of people from the Masalit community in El Geneina in West Darfur.

Khartoum and El Geneina have been worst affected by the war, though last week tensions and clashes escalated in other parts of Darfur and in Kordofan, in the south.

Fighting has intensified since a series of cease-fire deals agreed at talks led by the United States and Saudi Arabia in Jeddah failed to stick. The talks were adjourned last week.

The Central Reserve Police have been deployed by the army in ground fighting in recent weeks. It had previously been used as a combat force in several regions and to confront protesters demonstrating against a coup in 2021.

It was sanctioned last year by the United States, accused of using excessive force against protesters.

Left alone

The army, led by Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, has been using airstrikes and heavy artillery to try to dislodge the RSF led by Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, known as Hemedti, from neighborhoods across the capital.

“Since the early morning in north Omdurman we’ve had airstrikes and artillery bombardment and RSF anti-aircraft fire,” 47-year-old resident Mohamed al-Samani told Reuters by phone. “Where are the Jeddah talks, why did the world leave us to die alone in Burhan and Hemedti’s war?”

In Nyala, a city that grew rapidly as people were displaced during the earlier conflict that spread in Darfur after 2003, witnesses reported a marked deterioration in the security situation over the past few days, with violent clashes in residential neighborhoods.

“Today I left Nyala because of the war. Yesterday there was bombardment in the streets and bullets going into homes,” Saleh Haroun, a 38-year-old resident of the city, told Reuters.

There was also fighting between the army and the RSF last week around El Fashir, capital of North Darfur, which the U.N. says is inaccessible to humanitarian workers.

In El Geneina, which has been almost entirely cut off from communications networks and aid supplies in recent weeks, attacks by Arab militias and the RSF have sent tens of thousands fleeing over the border to Chad.

On Saturday, U.N. Human Rights spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani called for safe passage for people fleeing El Geneina and access for aid workers following reports of summary executions between the city and the border and “persistent hate speech” including calls to kill the Masalit or expel them.

Of those uprooted by the conflict in Sudan, nearly 2 million have been displaced internally and almost 600,000 have fled to neighboring countries, according to the International Organization for Migration.