Sudan updates: Fighting rages on as foreign evacuations slow
The warring parties continue to face off in the capital for a third week despite the latest patchy cease-fire
Warplanes continued to hover over Khartoum on Saturday, with the sound of air strikes and artillery challenging a 72-hour cease-fire agreement that's nearly halfway through.
Both the Sudanese military, under the leadership of General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, and Mohamed Hamdan Daglo's Rapid Support Forces (RSF) paramilitary group continued to exchange blame for the violence, which has already entered its third week.
"We woke up once again to the sound of fighter jets and anti-aircraft weapons blasting all over our neighborhood," a witness in southern Khartoum told the French AFP news agency.
The violence has thus far killed at least 512 and injured over 4,000 more, as per United Nations figures. The real toll is believed to be significantly higher.
The UN also says at least 75,000 have been internally displaced due to the fighting. They include many of the capital's population, which, when combined with the adjoining cities of Bahri and Omdurman, is home to some 10 million.
Several others have meanwhile crossed into neighboring countries, seeking refuge.
Here are other key headlines about the crisis in Sudan for Saturday, April 29:
Military, RSF 'nominate representatives' for talks
The fighting parties have nominated representatives for talks which could either be hosted by Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, or Juba in South Sudan, the United Nations special representative in the country told the Reuters news agency.
Volker Perthes suggested that both the Sudanese military and the RSF paramilitary group seemed more open to negotiations now. He questioned nevertheless whether they could "actually sit together."
No timeline has been decided for the talks, Perthes told Reuters.
"They both think they will win, but they are both sort of more open to negotiations, the word 'negotiations' or 'talks' was not there in their discourse in the first week or so," he said, adding that both parties have "accepted that this war cannot continue."
Foreign evacuations slow
Meanwhile, foreign missions flying or ferrying people out of the country continued on Saturday, albeit at a slower rate after a full week of daily extractions.
The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs said on Saturday that it evacuated over 130 Australians. It added that those remaining in the conflict-torn country should consider leaving at the earliest opportunity.
"Opportunities to depart on an evacuation flight are rapidly closing," the department cautioned.
The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office had announced effectively ending what it described as its "longest and largest evacuation effort of any Western country," citing a "declining demand for seats" as well as fears of renewed or intensifying fighting.
The last flight out of Sudan was scheduled to take off at midday on Saturday.
Over 1,500 people had been airlifted by British evacuation planes over the past week, the FCO said.
The New York Times reported that the a convoy of buses carrying some 300 Americans had left Khartoum late on Friday bound for the the Red Sea coast, while the US said several hundred had departed Sudan either by land, sea or air in recent weeks.
Sudan crisis puts Chad under pressure
Antoine, a Congolese man who has been living in Sudan for around 20 years, is desperate to flee the country amid heavy fighting. His closest safe destination is neighboring Chad.
He told DW that living conditions have worsened since the start of clashes.
Those waiting to cross over into Chad say they live under the threat of the bombings which target a camp close to the paramilitaries.
Chadian authorities are concerned that the ongoing clashes in Sudan would compromise the security and humanitarian situation within their own territory as thousands of people — mostly women and children — continue to seek refuge.
The World Food Program (WFP) has warned that the supply of food for refugees in Chad would be halved from next month due to a lack of financial support.
For more, read DW's special report on the spillover of the crisis into neighboring Chad here.
More DW coverage of the conflict in Sudan
Amid the lack of official support, Sudanese are relying on the help of fellow citizens to flee. Meanwhile, a new humanitarian crisis is unfolding near Egypt. DW spoke to Sudanese refugees in neighboring countries.
Chad is hosting more than 1 million people forced to leave their homes, including nearly 400,000 Sudanese refugees. Chad fears the conflict between rival army generals will pile more pressure on its limited resources.
Russian paramilitary group Wagner operates a gold processing plant in Sudan and has been accused of involvement in the country's recent conflict.
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