Sudan's Bashir whereabouts unknown after associate's prison escape
The whereabouts of former Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir came into question on Wednesday after a former minister in his government, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court, escaped from the same Khartoum prison.
Ahmed Haroun said that he and other former officials of Bashir's government had left Kober prison and would take responsibility for their own protection, in a statement aired on Sudan's Tayba TV on Tuesday.
Fighting flared anew in Sudan late on Tuesday despite a ceasefire declaration by the warring factions as more people fled Khartoum in the chaos.
The Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire beginning on Tuesday after negotiations mediated by the US and Saudi Arabia.
But gunfire and explosions could be heard after nightfall in Omdurman, one of Khartoum's sister cities on the Nile River where the army used drones to target RSF positions, a Reuters reporter said. UN special envoy on Sudan Volker Perthes told the UN Security Council on Tuesday that the ceasefire "seems to be holding in some parts so far."
But he said that neither party showed readiness to "seriously negotiate, suggesting that both think that securing a military victory over the other is possible."
"This is a miscalculation," Perthes said, adding that Khartoum's airport was operational but the tarmac damaged.
The first Turkish civilians evacuated from Sudan returned to Turkey on Wednesday and Saudi Arabia said it evacuated 13 of its nationals and 1,674 other individuals with no sign the warring parties are ready to seriously negotiate.
The Turks came from the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, having reached there overland from Khartoum.
Several more flights were expected later on Wednesday to evacuate the remaining Turkish citizens who had crossed over to Ethiopia from Sudan.