Following a pause for humanitarian evacuations from 1600-1900 local time (1400-1700 UTC) on 17 April 2023, the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) paramilitary group and the Sudanese Armed Forces continued fighting for a third consecutive day as they vie for control of the capital Khartoum, Khartoum International Airport (HSSK/KRT) and Merowe International Airport (HSMN/MWE). Local media report that the Sudanese military has also carried out airstrikes in Bahri, Khartoum, Omdurman and other locations in the country. The conflict began on 15 April after multiple days of heightened tensions between the two groups regarding disagreements on several issues, including the plan for how the RSF should be integrated with the Sudanese military and the pathway for Sudan to return to civilian rule. At least 100 people have been killed thus far — including at least 56 civilians — and 595 more have been injured. In Khartoum, the fighting is concentrated near Al-Siteen Street, Sudanese military headquarters, and the Presidential Palace. Power outages are also occurring across the city.

On 16 April, heavy fighting occurred in Khartoum and the Darfur region. Fighting within Khartoum was concentrated near the Khartoum refinery, the Military Industrialization headquarters in the Al-Jili area, and on the Blue Nile Road and Railway Bridge that connects northern Khartoum to the southern part of the city. Sudanese military officials also reported clashes with the RSF in the cities of Port Sudan, Al-Qadarif and Kotsi, as well as in the communities of Kotsi, Nasya and Zalingei.

Analyst Comment: The situation on the ground remains precarious. The RSF has made repeated claims regarding its seizure of key locations and facilities, which Sudanese military forces have denied. It is difficult to fully authenticate claims from leaders of either side. A military resolution is unlikely in the short-term, given recent statements and demands from both parties. The Sudanese military has stated that it will only enter into negotiations if the RSF agrees to disband its military wing, a condition that Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo — the leader of the RSF — is unlikely to accept. Leaders from the U.N. and the African Union are in contact with Sudanese military chief Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and RSF commander Gen. Dagalo in an attempt to de-escalate the situation; however, international mediation has not produced notable progress so far.