Sudanese singer Shaden Hussein killed in crossfire during heavy fighting

Sudanese singer Shaden Hussein killed in crossfire during heavy fighting
A Sudanese singer was killed in the crossfire in her home on Saturday, as warring factions continued fighting in and around Khartoum.
2 min read
15 May, 2023
People poured their hearts out on social media after news of Shaden's death [Getty/archive]

A Sudanese singer died after an explosive landed in her home on Saturday amid intense fighting between rival military factions.

Shaden Hussein was killed in the crossfire at her house in Omdurman, next to the capital Khartoum, as the Sudanese military battled with the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF).

"Shaden sang for hope, peace, love, and the diversity of Sudan. But she also worked…to highlight these values, ​​as popular values ​​rooted in the Sudanese people, and her enemies were constantly trying to obliterate them by igniting wars and destruction," wrote a pan-African feminist page on Twitter.

Pictures and videos of the artist, dubbed Al Hakama Shaden, were widely shared on social media, as Sudanese expressed both sorrow and anger over the ongoing bloodshed.

She had thousands of followers on Facebook where she was active, posting regularly about the conflict in her country.

She had written in previous posts of the chaos and widespread looting happening in Omdurman, and how she and her family were stuck and were unable to leave.

"To every Sudanese who loves writing, we are going to write - for the first time - for coming generations, with accuracy and credibility. For you are witnesses to what has happened in Sudan," her last Facebook page read, the day before she died.

Originally from the western Kordofan province, Shaden rose to fame in 2016 and was well known for her ballad singing traditions of the region.

The neighbourhood she lived in was taken over by the RSF shortly after the fighting began on 15 April, making it a frequent target for the Sudanese military. It has a complex housing Sudan's state-run TV and radio stations. 

News of Shaden's death came after the RSF and Sudan military signed a US and Saudi-brokered deal on Thursday to protect civilians and secure humanitarian access. They often trade blame over civilian casualties.

Shelling and air strikes continued to pound parts of Khartoum on Sunday with little sign that the warring military factions were ready to back down. The conflict has killed hundreds and displaced nearly a million people, despite ceasefire talks in Saudi Arabia.