Sudanese rival forces have continued fighting in Khartoum as mediators for Sudan’s warring sides meet in Saudi Arabia, seeking an end to the violent skirmishes.
Fighting continued on Sunday between the Sudanese army and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) as representatives of the country's rivaling military leaders began talks to end the three-week-old conflict that has left hundreds of people dead and many more injured, plunging the African country into chaos and triggering an exodus.
Reports from Sudan said the sound of warplanes and explosions could be heard overnight as fighting went on in south Khartoum and across the Nile in the city of Khartoum North.
RSF forces, which are based in Khartoum’s Republican Palace, launched an offensive on the command of the country's Air Force, which carries out frequent attacks on the RSF’s positions.
The “RSF attempted to storm the command of the Air Defense Forces in Khartoum, but the Sudan Armed Forces repelled the attack, destroyed several enemy vehicles, and captured three combat vehicles,” the Sudanese army said in a statement.
Also, Sudan’s Air Force continued to launch airstrikes on RSF positions which the militia forces responded to with anti-aircraft guns, amid the rising plumes of smoke in the sky.
The clashes in Sudan continue despite a declared ceasefire, as truce talks are underway in Saudi Arabia.
The declared objective of the internationally-backed truce talks held in the Saudi Red Sea port city of Jeddah is to first secure the safe passage of civilians fleeing the country.
Confirming his representative’s attendance, RSF leader Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, commonly known as Hemedti, said he hoped the talks would achieve the intended goals of the negotiations.
“We remain hopeful that the discussions will achieve their intended goals,” he said.
Meanwhile, Manahil Salah, a 28-year-old laboratory doctor on an evacuation flight from Port Sudan to the United Arab Emirates, said her family hid for three days in their home close to army headquarters in the capital before eventually traveling to the Red Sea Coast.
"Yes I am happy to survive," she said. "But I feel deep sadness because I left my mother and father behind in Sudan, and sad because all this pain is happening in my homeland."
Thousands of people are pushing to leave from Port Sudan on boats to Saudi Arabia, paying for expensive commercial flights through the country's only functioning airport, or using evacuation flights.
"We were lucky to travel to Abu Dhabi, but what's happening in Khartoum, where I spent my whole life, is painful," said 75-year-old Abdulkader, who also caught an evacuation flight to the UAE. "Leaving your life and your memories is something indescribable."
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