War in Sudan: Air raid kills at least 46 in Khartoum

At least 46 people were killed and dozens injured in airstrikes in Khartoum on Sunday (September 10), activists said

War in Sudan: Air raid kills at least 46 in Khartoum

At least 46 people were killed and dozens injured in airstrikes in Khartoum on Sunday (September 10), activists said. It is one of the deadliest raids on the capital of Sudan, a country ravaged by war for almost five months. The army led by General Abdel Fattah Al-Bourhane, the only one to have combat planes in this conflict, denied any involvement in these raids after accusations to this effect from its rivals.

Since April 15, the war for power between the army and the Rapid Support Forces (FSR), of General Mohammed Hamdan Daglo, has left 7,500 dead and nearly 5 million displaced and refugees, according to an NGO. The human toll is in reality much higher, because many areas of the country are completely cut off from the world, notably Darfur (west), and both camps refuse to communicate their losses.

According to a local resistance committee which organizes mutual aid between residents, the bombings “carried out by military planes” targeted the Qouro district, in the south of Khartoum. The raids “were carried out around 7:15 a.m. on a market,” the committee said, denouncing a “massacre.” The death toll now stands at "at least 46 dead and dozens injured", he added.

“This morning, the Bourhane terrorist militia carried out airstrikes against civilians in the south of Khartoum,” the RSF said on the social network X (formerly Twitter). In a statement published via the official Suna agency, the army denied being behind “airstrikes targeting civilians” in Qouro and rejected “the false accusations of the rebels”.

After the strikes, the wounded and the remains were transferred to the nearest hospital, Bachaïr, one of the very last in operation in the capital, where 5 million people still live, holed up in their homes for fear of crossfire , without water or electricity most of the time. The hospital issued “urgent” calls, ordering all doctors in the area to report due to the influx of injured people.

Visits abroad

General Bourhane's army is in difficulty in Khartoum, where paramilitaries hold residential neighborhoods. The FSRs set up their bases in the middle of houses years ago. According to experts, the army is responding with air raids to try to regain a foothold there.

While on a military level, the FSR seem to have the upper hand, General Bourhane is increasing his visits abroad to try to establish himself as the sole interlocutor to find a settlement. Besieged by paramilitaries for more than four months at army headquarters in Khartoum, he managed to reach Port Sudan at the end of August, a coastal city in the east of the country spared by the fighting. There, he now sits as both head of the army and president of the transitional authorities, whose civilians he sacked with his 2021 putsch.

The multiple international attempts at mediation have so far failed, in particular because diplomatic channels are multiplying and competing with each other, say the experts. On the one hand, the Saudis and the Americans are trying to take control. On the other hand, the African Union (AU) and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), an East African organization, advocate "African solutions to African problems".

Relations became strained between the army and the AU after a meeting last week between one of the leaders of the pan-African organization and an RSF official. Sudan’s foreign ministry said the AU “should not give space to rebel movements or terrorist militias.” On Saturday, General Bourhane said he "did not need help" from the AU if it did not change its approach. Sudan was suspended from the AU following the 2021 putsch.