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No water, no light as Sudan conflict rages on

A resident in Sudan’s capital has told the BBC that she has no more drinking water as fighting between rival forces rages in Khartoum for a fourth day.

“This morning we ran out,” Duaa Tariq said, adding that she was saving one bottle exclusively for her two-year-old child.

Efforts to get the army and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) paramilitary group to agree a ceasefire are faltering.

The RSF has been looting in some residential areas of the capital.

Residents of the Khartoum 2 area told the BBC that the RSF militia had been going home-to-home in the neighbourhood demanding water and food.

This is the area where the EU’s ambassador Aidan O’Hara was assaulted in his home. The Irish foreign minister said he was not seriously injured.

Heavy bombardments and black smoke can be seen around the airport, which is in the centre of Khartoum and right next to the military headquarters, as tanks are reported on some streets.

Residential areas surround the airport and staff and patients at a nearby cancer hospital say there are trapped by the fighting.

A female patient at Al-Zara Hospital told the BBC on Monday the situation was deteriorating as there were no medicine or food. The hospital is already overcrowded as it took in patients from another hospital that had come under attack by the RSF.

Lack of supplies is a problem countrywide, in up to seven states, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

“Now most of the hospitals are reporting [being] out of medical supplies, blood bags, oxygen and other many important medicine and surgical kits,” WHO’s Sudan representative Dr Nima Saeed Abid told the BBC’s Newsday radio programme.

UN special envoy to Sudan Volker Perthes has told the BBC that he is in daily contact with the two generals whose forces are fighting for control, but he says they are not talking to each other.

Agreements to pause the fighting for several hours on Sunday and Monday were not fully observed.

“Both of them made statements that their forces would be committed to that but the truces, or the pauses, have not been respected, at least not all of the time and not in all areas, but we are going to continue these efforts,” he said.

The Red Cross said it was receiving multiple calls for help from people trapped in their homes by the fighting – the city has an estimated population of at least five million residents.

But the aid group said providing humanitarian support was “almost impossible”, amid airstrikes and artillery attacks.

Around 185 people have been killed and more than 1,800 injured since the fighting erupted on Saturday, according to the UN.

For Ms Tariq the only safe place to be in her home is “one tiny corridor” where “we’re laying and spending the whole day” on one shared mattress.

“Most of the people [that] died, died in their houses with random bullets and missiles, so it’s better to avoid exposed places in the house” like windows, she said.

There is not sufficient light because there is no electricity, but she goes to a neighbour’s flat to charge her phone as they have a power bank.

“Last night I wasn’t able to sleep and I feel very sick,” she added.

A group in her community were forming a “crisis room,” and had “promised to provide food and water for those in need”, she said.

People are also organising anti-war campaigns online, she added.

The fighting is between army units loyal to the country’s de facto leader, Gen Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, and the RSF, a notorious paramilitary force commanded by Sudan’s deputy leader, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, better known as Hemedti.


Source: BBC

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