Shelling, Looting in Sudan’s Capital as Military Factions Battle for Eighth Week 

Smoke billows behind buildings from a reported fire in Khartoum, on June 5, 2023, as fighting continues between two warring generals. (AFP)
Smoke billows behind buildings from a reported fire in Khartoum, on June 5, 2023, as fighting continues between two warring generals. (AFP)
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Shelling, Looting in Sudan’s Capital as Military Factions Battle for Eighth Week 

Smoke billows behind buildings from a reported fire in Khartoum, on June 5, 2023, as fighting continues between two warring generals. (AFP)
Smoke billows behind buildings from a reported fire in Khartoum, on June 5, 2023, as fighting continues between two warring generals. (AFP)

Shelling hit western areas of Sudan's capital on Monday morning after rival military factions fought through the night, residents said, with reports of deepening lawlessness in Khartoum and in the western region of Darfur.

Fighting between the army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), who have been battling each other for more than seven weeks, intensified after the expiry late on Saturday of a ceasefire deal brokered by Saudi Arabia and the US.

The conflict has uprooted more than 1.2 million people within Sudan and sent about 400,000 fleeing into neighboring countries, inflicting heavy damage on the capital where remaining residents are at the mercy of battles, air strikes and lawlessness.

Late on Sunday, residents reported intense fighting across the three cities that make up the nation's wider capital - Khartoum, Omdurman and Bahri - and smoke could be seen rising from several areas early on Monday.

"The neighborhood where we live in the center of Omdurman is looted publicly on a daily basis without anyone intervening to prevent it, with clashes and shelling continuing around us," said 37-year-old resident Mohamed Saleh.

In Khartoum East district, RSF troops who have spread out in neighborhoods across the capital were in full control and were looting extensively, said Waleed Adam, a resident of the area.

"You see them right in front of you, taking cars, money, gold - whatever they can get their hands on," he told Reuters by phone. "I guess it's just a matter of time until they come to my street."

The RSF says it has been working to protect civilians by arresting looters.

The war has also triggered unrest in Darfur in Sudan's far west, a region that was already suffering from mass displacement due to earlier conflict.

In recent days at least 40 people were killed and dozens more were wounded in Kutum in North Darfur State, according to activists who monitor the region. Residents have also reported widespread looting and insecurity in the area.

On Monday, the RSF released a video purporting to show that they had taken over the army headquarters in Kutum, a commercial hub and one of the larger towns in the state.

There was no immediate comment from the army, which had denied on Sunday that the RSF had taken the town.

There have been long communication blackouts in parts of Darfur, where aid groups have found it especially complicated to bring in new humanitarian supplies.

In El Obeid, a city 360 km (220 miles) southwest of Khartoum and on a key route from the capital to Darfur, residents reported large deployments of RSF forces and the closure of some roads.

Recent days have brought the first showers of the year in Khartoum, marking the start of a rainy season likely to complicate a relief effort already hampered by bureaucratic delays and logistical challenges.



Borrell: War in Middle East on Brink of Expanding

European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell arrives to take part in a Summit on Peace in Ukraine at the luxury Burgenstock resort, near Lucerne in central Switzerland, on June 15, 2024. (Photo by Ludovic MARIN / AFP)
European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell arrives to take part in a Summit on Peace in Ukraine at the luxury Burgenstock resort, near Lucerne in central Switzerland, on June 15, 2024. (Photo by Ludovic MARIN / AFP)
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Borrell: War in Middle East on Brink of Expanding

European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell arrives to take part in a Summit on Peace in Ukraine at the luxury Burgenstock resort, near Lucerne in central Switzerland, on June 15, 2024. (Photo by Ludovic MARIN / AFP)
European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell arrives to take part in a Summit on Peace in Ukraine at the luxury Burgenstock resort, near Lucerne in central Switzerland, on June 15, 2024. (Photo by Ludovic MARIN / AFP)

European foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said on Monday that the Middle East was close to seeing the conflict expanding into Lebanon just days after Lebanon's Iran-backed Hezbollah threatened EU member Cyprus.

"The risk of this war effecting the south of Lebanon and spilling over is every day bigger," Borrell told reporters ahead of a foreign ministers meeting in Luxembourg. "We are on the eve of the war expanding."

The head of Lebanon's Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, said on Wednesday that nowhere in Israel would be safe if a full-fledged war breaks out between the two foes, and also threatened EU member Cyprus for the first time and other parts of the Mediterranean.

"The Cypriot government must be warned that opening Cypriot airports and bases for the Israeli enemy to target Lebanon means that the Cypriot government has become part of the war and the resistance (Hezbollah) will deal with it as part of the war," Nasrallah added.