Fierce battle for control of arms depot in Khartoum

Fierce battle for control of arms depot in Khartoum
Above, a Sudanese armored personnel carrier in southern Khartoum amidst ongoing fighting on June 7, 2023. (AFP)
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Updated 09 June 2023

Fierce battle for control of arms depot in Khartoum

Fierce battle for control of arms depot in Khartoum
  • Fighting continues despite Sudan paramilitaries’ claim to have taken control of vital weapons factory

JEDDAH: Sudanese regular army soldiers and their paramilitary rivals were fighting a bitter battle on Thursday for control of a vital weapons factory and arms depot in Khartoum.

The fighting came a day after the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces claimed to have taken “full control” of the complex in Yarmouk, the most important military industrial facility in Sudan.

The paramilitaries said soldiers had fled the site, leaving behind large quantities of military equipment and vehicles. They posted video footage online claiming to show their fighters celebrating inside the facility, with weapons including machineguns and large quantities of ammunition in the background.

Establishing the accurate situation was complicated by a massive fire at Al-Shajara oil and gas plant near Yarmouk that broke out overnight on Wednesday. Residents heard a loud explosion at the plant, where fierce fighting has been underway for the past couple of days. Plumes of smoke rose from the site on Thursday morning and could be seen from 10 kilometers away.

Sudan has been embroiled in a deadly conflict since mid-April, when fighting erupted between army chief Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan and his former deputy Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, who commands the paramilitaries.

Violence has spread across the country, most notably in the western region of Darfur, which is home to around a quarter of Sudan’s population and has never recovered from a devastating two-decade war that left hundreds of thousands dead and more than 2 million displaced.

Since fighting broke out in Sudan on April 15, more than 1,800 people have been killed.