(Khartoum) Air raids and heavy shooting in Khartoum, thousands of people evacuated from Sudan: The fierce and deadly fighting between the army and the paramilitaries entered its third week on Saturday, in violation of a new truce.

The country has been plunged into chaos since the outbreak on April 15 of a bloody power struggle between the head of the army, Abdel Fattah al-Burhane, and his number two, Mohamed Hamdane Daglo, known as “Hemedti”, at the head of the dreaded Rapid Support Forces (RSF).

The fighting left at least 528 dead and 4,599 injured, according to the latest official figures released on Saturday. Tens of thousands of Sudanese have fled to neighboring states including Egypt, Ethiopia, Chad and South Sudan, while foreign countries carry out mass evacuations of their nationals.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres lamented via Al-Arabiya Channel that “the war for power continues as the country crumbles”.

Each side accuses each other of violating the truce extended, under international mediation, until Sunday midnight (6 p.m. Eastern time).

Civilians try to flee or survive barricaded without electricity, water or food.

“There are clashes with heavy weapons and machine guns,” a Khartoum resident told AFP, while another witness reported “explosions and shooting” elsewhere in the capital.

About 70% of hospitals in combat zones are out of service, according to the doctors’ union.

On Friday, the generals at war were torn apart by the media.

On Al-Hurra TV, Burhane called the RSF “a militia seeking to destroy Sudan” with the help of “mercenaries from Chad, the Central African Republic and Niger”.

“Hemedti” called him on the BBC about his rival as a “traitor” who is “untrustworthy”.

The two generals had however joined forces during the 2021 putsch to oust the civilians with whom they had shared power since the fall of dictator Omar al-Bashir two years earlier. But differences then appeared and, for lack of agreement on the integration of the FSR into the army, degenerated into open war on April 15.

For the UN envoy to Sudan, Volker Perthes, while the tensions were palpable, there was “no sign” that fighting would break out on April 15 because, he told Al-Jazeera, the two rival generals were to meet to discuss that day.

According to the UN, 75,000 people have been displaced by the fighting, which was particularly violent in Darfur, a region torn by war in the 2000s.

If the truce does not stop the fighting, it does not prevent the continuation of evacuations. On Saturday, a new boat carrying around 1,900 evacuees arrived in Saudi Arabia which has so far welcomed nearly 5,000 Saudi and foreign nationals.

Among them, Merhdad Malekzadh, who was among the first Iranians evacuated on Saturday, described to AFP daily bombardments and explosions in Khartoum. “We never imagined that the situation would become so tense.”

The UK has already warned that its final evacuation flight will take place on Saturday evening after pulling more than 1,500 people out of Sudan.

“The window of opportunity is closing,” lamented Canada for its part. “We continue to evaluate different options to evacuate Canadians, including by land and sea,” said Defense Minister Anita Anand.

In all, “over 375 Canadians” have been evacuated from Sudan and about 300 more are awaiting assistance to exit the country, the minister added.

The UN estimates that millions more people could sink into hunger after a third of the 45 million Sudanese already suffer from it, in the country, one of the poorest in the world.

Looting, destruction and fires are increasing in West Darfur, including in camps for the displaced, reports Médecins sans frontières (MSF). The NGO had to “stop almost all of (its) activities there”, regrets its deputy head in Sudan, Sylvain Perron.

In recent days, a hundred people have been killed in fighting that has ravaged El-Geneina, its capital, according to the UN, whose boss Antonio Guterres deplored a “terrible” situation.

“Society is collapsing, we see tribes now trying to arm themselves,” he said.