Air strikes in the Quoro market area of Sudan’s capital, Khartoum, killed at least 40 civilians and injured at least 50 more. The market “massacre,” with the highest death toll since the beginning of the war in Sudan, was reported by the Resistance Committee, a local activist group providing humanitarian aid to victims of the war.
The paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) alleged that the Sudanese military was responsible for the strikes. The military has denied the accusation.
Mohamed Hamdan “Hemedti” Dagalo’s RSF and Sudan de facto leader Abdel Fattah al-Burhan’s Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) have been engaged in fierce conflict since April 2023. The conflict, largely concentrated around Khartoum and Darfur, has its roots in the ouster of dictator Omar al-Bashir in 2019. The Transitional Sovereignty Council, of which al-Burhan and Hemedti are chairperson and deputy chairperson respectively, was constituted to facilitate the transition to a civilian-led government. Elections were scheduled to be held in early 2024, but efforts to prepare for the election deterioated after RSF was accused of illegally gathering and deploying forces. The tension culminated in RSF attacks on government-controlled sites; however, the RSF claims that the SAF attacked first.
According to the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project, the war has caused over 7,500 deaths in over four months. Over one million refugees have been displaced; Sudan itself hosts around 800,000 South Sudanese refugees, many of whom are returning to the war-torn country. There has also been an escalation of inter-ethnic conflict in South Darfur.