Harare — For the first time, the two opposing factions of the Sudanese military are now fighting in Port Sudan on the Red Sea, BBC reports.
The Forces of the Eastern Sudan Parties and Movements Alliance, a tribal militia organization, and Sudanese army engaged in gunfire exchanges, the first fighting in the strategic coastal city in more than five months of war.
Army head Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and his former deputy Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, who is in charge of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), are at odds since April 15, 2023.
The soldiers made an effort to take down checkpoints that the militant group had up in the city’s center on Monday. The United Nations relocated from the country’s war-torn capital Khartoum to Port Sudan, which is home to the sole operational airport in the country.
Since fighting erupted in the capital city of Khartoum in April, thousands of people died in clashes between the Sudanese army and opposing paramilitary Rapid Support Forces. It is Burhan’s new base for the past three weeks after he was forced to flee army headquarters in Khartoum, which was under siege by RSF militants, in late August.
Since then, Burhan traveled six times from Port Sudan in what analysts believe to be a diplomatic effort to bolster his reputation in the event that peace talks are launched.
The Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project’s conservative estimate states that since April 15 there have been at least 7,500 deaths throughout Sudan as a result of the conflict.