Sudanese celebrate Eid Al-Fitr amid the sound of shelling and gunfire

Sudanese celebrate Eid Al-Fitr amid the sound of shelling and gunfire
Sudanese worshippers celebrating Eid Al-Fitr performed the customary prayers of the holy celebration in Khartoum as rocket fire and anti-aircraft guns thundered in the background.
2 min read
21 April, 2023
Sudanese prayed the Eid al-Fitr prayers in mosques and public spaces across the capital Khartoum despite ongoing violence across the city [Mahmoud Hjaj/Anadolu Agency via Getty]

Sudanese Muslims performed Eid Al-Fitr prayers in the capital on Friday amid fierce fighting between the army and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF).

Despite calls for a ceasefire, fighting continued in Khartoum during the build-up to Eid, with shelling and anti-aircraft gunfire forming the backdrop to the Muslim festival.

Hundreds of Sudanese gathered across the capital, exchanging congratulations and chanting the Eid 'takbeer', praising God.

Some performed customary prayers in public places and others in mosques, despite advice from Sudanese religious authorities for the public to protect themselves from the continued fighting.

In the Soba area, east of Khartoum, one imam gave an Eid sermon where he called for an end to the clashes and a return of security and safety in Sudan, as shelling rumbled in the distance.

Salah Abdallah, a Sudanese citizen, told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, The New Arab's Arabic-language service, that he was torn between feelings of joy for Eid and sadness over all those killed and injured in the clashes.

He, like many others, called on both sides to lay down their arms and end the fighting during the Muslim festival.

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Salma Abdallah said this would be her first Eid holiday in Khartoum, after clashes prevented her from travelling to her home city of Kassala in eastern Sudan.

Her case mirrors that of many others living in the capital, although those in nearby states like Gezira were able to escape Khartoum over the last few days.

Abu Obeida Mustafa also performed the Eid prayers in Soba after being unable to travel to his home city of Atbara, northern Sudan, and like millions of other Sudanese, called for a ceasefire.

Army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan addressed the Sudanese people for the Eid holiday, saying he hoped the ordeal would soon be over and leave people more united and cohesive.

"The desolation, destruction, and the sound of gunfire have left no space for the joy which our people deserve in every part of our beloved country, and we are deeply saddened by this fate," he said.

The rival RSF has agreed on an Eid ceasefire, although fighting has continued.

This is an edited translation from our Arabic edition. To read the original article click here.