Sudan’s warring parties trade accusations after attack on churchgoers

Sudan’s warring parties trade accusations after attack on churchgoers

Warring parties in Sudan are accusing each other for the attack on a Christian church during mass on Sunday.

The Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) say the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) is responsible for the attack on churchgoers in a church in Omdurman, a city near the capital Khartoum.

According to a statement issued by the army on Sunday, RSF shot at worshippers at the Blessed Church in Omdurman, in violation of international humanitarian law and established norms.

However, in a Twitter statement, RSF denied attacking the church and blamed the army for the attack, which it said “caused serious injuries among worshippers”.

The Sudanese armed forces had accused RSF of attacking two hospitals in the capital, Khartoum and called on the international community to recognise the group as a “terrorist organisation”.

Meanwhile, representatives of both generals, meeting in Saudi Arabia, had pledged on Thursday to honour international humanitarian law.

The agreement brokered by Saudi and US mediators does not amount to a truce but provides for the safe passage of urgent humanitarian aid and commits to the protection of civilians in the fighting.

The Sudanese military, under army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, have been fighting since April 15 with his former deputy, Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, who commands the heavily armed paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF).

The World Health Organization has said more than 600 people have been killed and 5,000 wounded in the fighting. The health ministry said at least 450 people were killed in the western Darfur region.

On Saturday, Sudan launched a call to the international community, including the United Nations, the African Union, and other regional organisations, “to provide humanitarian assistance” to the embattled country.

The government said it was committed to “dedicating the port and airports of Port Sudan” on the Red Sea, Dongola airport in the country’s north and Wadi Seidna air base near the capital “to receive aid”.

The UN’s World Food Programme, WFP, earlier said millions of dollars worth of food have been looted in Khartoum.

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