Armenian church in Khartoum so far undamaged as fighting rages in Sudan


YEREVAN, APRIL 17, ARTSAKHPRESS. As heavy fighting between the Sudanese army and a powerful rival force for control of the country is raging for already three days, the local Armenian community has warned of the risk of damage posed to the only Armenian church in Khartoum due to the proximity of the hostilities.

Representatives of the small Armenian community told Arevelk newspaper that thus far the church hasn’t been damaged despite the fighting taking place all around it.

The Armenian community in Sudan is the smallest Armenian Diaspora community, comprising only 15 people as of the latest data.

Heavy fighting between the Sudanese army and a powerful rival force for control of the country is raging for already three days, as the weekend’s civilian death toll rose to 97, the Associated Press reports.

Airstrikes and shelling intensified in parts of Khartoum and the adjoining city of Omdurman.

The clashes are part of a power struggle between Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan, the commander of the armed forces, and Gen. Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo, the head of the Rapid Support Forces, a paramilitary group. The two generals are former allies who jointly orchestrated an October 2021 military coup.

Both men have dug in, saying they would not negotiate a truce, instead engaging in verbal attacks and demanding the other’s surrender.

Since fighting erupted on Saturday, 97 civilians have been killed and hundreds have been wounded, said the Sudan Doctors’ Syndicate, a pro-democracy group monitoring casualties.

Top diplomats urged the sides to stop fighting, including the U.S. secretary of state, the U.N. secretary-general, the EU foreign policy chief, the head of the Arab League and the head of the African Union Commission. The U.N. Security Council was to discuss the developments in Sudan later on Monday.

There has been no official word on the number of fighters killed.

In recent months, negotiations had been under way to get back on a path to democracy. Under international pressure, Burhan and Dagalo agreed to a framework agreement with political parties and pro-democracy groups.

However, the deal was vague on key points of dispute, including how the RSF would be integrated into the armed force and who would have final control. The signing of the deal was put off repeatedly, amid rising tensions between Burhan and Dagalo.

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