‘We Don’t Want This War’: Trapped in Khartoum as Combat Rages

Four years ago, Khartoum was at the heart of a popular uprising that promised to usher in democracy after decades of dictatorship in the northeast African nation of 45 million people. But in the last month, the city of about five million people, which sits at the confluence of the Blue Nile and White Nile, has become the center of a violent power struggle between Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the head of the military, and Lt. Gen. Mohamed Hamdan, who leads the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces.

The paramilitary fighters have extended their grip on the capital, controlling roadblocks. They have also been accused of looting and turning hospitals and apartments into defensive positions. The army is mostly shelling from the air.

The clashes have spread to several towns and regions, and have raged in Bahri and Omdurman, Khartoum’s adjoining cities across the Nile. At least 600 people have been killed and over 5,000 others injured, the World Health Organization said on Tuesday. The conflict has displaced over 700,000 people, according to the United Nations, and 160,000 others have fled to bordering nations many of them encumbered with their own economic and political crises.

Residents of Khartoum say they have stayed behind either because they are sick, caring for aging relatives, or lack passports or money for transportation. Others, like Ms. Abdin, opted to stay after hearing of people being attacked and robbed on the road, and spending long days at border crossings.

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