Sudanese army has 'destroyed Republican palace', says RSF

Sudanese army has 'destroyed Republican palace', says RSF
The Rapid Support Forces have claimed that the Republican Palace in central Khartoum was destroyed by Sudanese army bombing but there has been no independent verification.
3 min read
10 May, 2023
The RSF militia has held the Republican palace since the early days of the conflict [Getty images]

The Sudanese Armed Forces have aerially bombarded the Republican Palace in central Khartoum, which is held by the Rapid Support Forces, leading to its complete destruction, the RSF claimed on Wednesday.

“Earlier today, the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) launched air raids on the Republican Palace, resulting in its complete destruction,” said the RSF, a powerful paramilitary force which has been fighting the regular Sudanese army since April 15, in a statement. 

Drone footage filmed on Wednesday and verified by Reuters appeared to show the building intact, though smoke could be seen coming from the southeast edge of the palace compound.

Three weeks ago, the RSF posted a video of armed men occupying the grounds of the Palace complex, claiming to have defeated the armed forces in the area and taken control, in a significant gain during the first days of the fight for power

If the army has destroyed the palace it would represent a serious symbolic loss for the RSF, who have been locked in intense street battles with the Sudanese Armed Forces across Khartoum and Omdurman, as well as in the western region of Darfur. 

The RSF claims have not been independently verified however.

“The Rapid Support Forces assures our regional neighbours and the international community as a whole that we will not stand idly by while members of the regime of former dictator Omar al-Bashir and their extremist associates within the SAF leadership continue to destroy Sudan,” the militia said.

“The RSF remains committed to democracy, human rights, and the establishment of a civilian-led government,” they added. 

The RSF is led by General Mohammed Ibrahim Daglo, who serves as Sudanese army chief General Abdel Fattah Burhan's deputy on the Transitional Sovereignty Council.

However, there has been intense rivalry between the two generals for months and this spilled over into open conflict last month.

Hundreds of civilians have been killed as a result of intense fighting in civilian areas and over 700,000 have been displaced. Both forces have been implicated in human rights abuses

Weeks of fighting in close urban settings - favoured by the Rapid Support Forces - have already wreaked havoc on Khartoum’s key landmarks and infrastructure, as Burhan’s air forces seek out RSF targets. 

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The three airports seized by the RSF have all suffered significant destruction, and government buildings have faced severe damage - while power cuts, water shortages and fuel supply issues continue to plague the country.

While both parties in the escalating conflict claim to support the Sudanese state and a transition to democracy, its citizens are facing critical damage to the fabric of the country.