C-130 Takes Fire During Evacuation Mission, Systems Damage Reported
A humanitarian rescue plane was fired upon in Sudan’s war-torn capital on Friday.
The Turkish C-130 was able to land at Wadi Seidna airfield, near Khartoum despite what appeared to be fuel system damage, according to the BBC.
Turkey and Sudan’s army blamed paramilitary forces for the attack, although the Rapid Support Forces denied responsibility for shooting at the plane.
The Turkish C-130 military transport plane that was hit by the Rapid Support Forces militias (#RSF) as it was preparing to land at Wadi Sidna Air Base in Khartoum. pic.twitter.com/1iqyCng80F
— Mahmoud Gamal (@mahmouedgamal44) April 28, 2023
U.S. officials cited concerns over the security of the airfield as a reason for starting overland convoys carrying about 300 evacuees in the first American effort to get roughly 16,000 Americans out of the war-torn country, according to The New York Times.
Last Saturday, the U.S. evacuated its embassy by sending in helicopters to evacuate 72 diplomats and embassy staff.
On Friday, buses formed a convoy to take the 300 Americans from Khartoum on a 525-mile trip to a Red Sea port where they can leave the country.
A Convoy of Buses carrying American Citizens and being Escorted by U.S. Military Drones is currently on the way to the Coastal City of Port Sudan from the Sudanese Capital of Khartoum; once in the City they will be Evacuated by Ship or Aircraft. pic.twitter.com/701oLZOOxk
— OSINTdefender (@sentdefender) April 28, 2023
The Times reported that U.S. drones are tracking the convoy to scout for threats, despite assurances from the two sides fighting each other that the convoy would be safe.
The war between Sudan’s army, and the RSF began two weeks ago. Officially, 512 people have been killed, although expectations are that far more people have died, the Times reported.
Friday marked the extension of a cease-fire, but Khartoum remained a scene of combat.
“What I am seeing is thick smoke. What I am hearing is shelling and gunshots. Khartoum is becoming extremely unsafe.” Ahmad Mahmoud told the news outlet.
Further footage showing fighters in the streets of El Geneina as clashes continued over the past three days in the area in West Darfur pic.twitter.com/OTve3ZrNYY
— Benjamin Strick (@BenDoBrown) April 28, 2023
As the war continues, conditions in West Darfur, one region of Sudan, have deteriorated, particularly in its capital city of El Geneina, since the beginning of the week.
A United Nations agency said “clashes, looting and burning of houses” are reported, according to CNN.
“Markets have reportedly been looted, as well as several humanitarian organizations’ premises. Most of the health centers are not functioning,” the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said.
Since Monday, at least 96 people have been killed in “deadly ethnic clashes” in El Geneina, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights said Friday, according to CNN.
Ravina Shamdasani, a representative of the agency, said the death toll might be much higher, and added that there was “serious risk of violence escalating in West Darfur, as the hostilities between the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) have triggered intercommunal violence.”
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