Burhan makes rare appearance after months of silence
Burhan makes rare appearance after months of silence

Khartoum: General Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, the head of the Sudanese army, made his first public appearance outside of the army command compound in Khartoum since the war's start more than four months ago in a video distributed by the army on Thursday.

Since April 15, the army has been engaged in combat with the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) for control of the nation's capital and several significant cities. Diplomats report that efforts to mediate have been unsuccessful because both sides still think they can prevail.

The army has attempted to drive the paramilitary forces out of strategic locations while the RSF has dominated Khartoum and its sister cities on the ground.

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According to the United Nations, the fighting has resulted in significant civilian casualties and forced more than 4.5 million people to flee their homes. As seen in the video, Burhan greeted soldiers in Omdurman, across the Nile from the capital, at the Wadi Sayidna air force base.

The work you are doing should reassure people that Sudan is being protected by the army and that the army has men, he said in the video.

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The RSF is launching a multi-day assault on the Armoured Corps base in southern Khartoum, the army's only other significant base outside of army command, which the RSF claims it is blockingading. How Burhan was able to leave Khartoum was unclear.

The Wadi Sayidna air force base, which the RSF has attempted to attack but failed, is under the control of the army as are bases in Omdurman and Bahri.

Although General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, head of the RSF, has only appeared on video once since the start of the war—speaking to soldiers last month outside a house in an unidentified location—he frequently made fun of Burhan for what he called hiding in a bunker.

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With hospitals closed, water and electricity cuts, and food shortages, the fighting has already triggered a humanitarian crisis. However, the rainy season, which started last month, poses a threat to exacerbate the situation.

A measles outbreak has been reported, along with rising numbers of cases of acute watery diarrhoea, malaria, and dengue fever, according to the United Nations on Wednesday.


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