Sudan on the Precipice of Civil War

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  • U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) announced Monday that a helicopter raid in northeast Syria killed an ISIS leader, Abd-al-Hadi Mahmud al-Haji Ali, who the military believes was responsible for planning attacks in the Middle East and Europe. Two other “armed individuals” were killed in the attack, a CENTCOM spokesman said, and no U.S. personnel were injured.
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  • U.S. Ambassador to Russia Lynne Tracy visited detained Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich on Monday, the first time Russia has allowed embassy officials to see Gershkovich since he was arrested and charged with espionage almost two weeks ago. Tracy said the reporter is “in good health and remains strong” and reiterated calls for his immediate release.
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  • 85-year-old Andrew Lester was charged with two felonies Monday after Kansas City, Missouri prosecutors alleged he shot an unarmed black teenager, Ralph Yarl, in the head and arm Thursday night. Yarl, 16, reportedly rang Lester’s doorbell by mistake while trying to pick up his brothers from a friend’s house on the next block. A warrant has been issued for Lester, who was held briefly Thursday night before being released. Yarl, who his family says suffered a cracked skull and a traumatic brain injury, was released from the hospital Monday and received a phone call from President Biden.
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  • Democratic Sen. John Fetterman of Pennsylvania returned to the Senate Monday after being hospitalized in February to receive treatment for clinical depression. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, 81, also returned to the Senate Monday, his first time back at work since he fell and suffered a concussion at a fundraiser in early March.

Guns Talk in Sudan

Sudanese security forces keep watch as they protect a military hospital and government offices during protests against a military coup overthrowing the transition to civilian rule on October 25, 2021 in the capital's twin city of Omdurman. (Photo by -/AFP via Getty Images)
Sudanese security forces keep watch as they protect a military hospital and government offices during protests against a military coup overthrowing the transition to civilian rule on October 25, 2021 in the capital's twin city of Omdurman. (Photo by -/AFP via Getty Images)

Residents of Khartoum, the capital city of Sudan, were shaken Saturday by the sound of fighting as troops exchanged gunfire. Fighter jets scythed low over rooftops and black smoke blotted out swathes of the city as satellites recorded burning government buildings and wrecked airplanes.

The attacks haven’t stopped. “The fighting is going on and we can hear bullets and bombing all around us,” said Islamic Relief’s Sudan Country Director Elsadig Elnour. “Buildings are on fire and smoke fills the sky. People are trapped in their homes and scared about what is going to happen in the coming days. Life is paralyzed, everything is closed, and food supplies are running out.”

Four years after a popular uprising ousted Sudanese dictator Omar al-Bashir and opened the door to democracy, a power struggle between Sudan’s two top military leaders has erupted into fierce fighting in the capital and around the country. Western negotiators had hoped the two would finalize a power-sharing agreement earlier this month and begin returning the country to civilian rule, but the conflict now threatens to escalate into a full-blown civil war.

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