Saudi Arabian Airlines suspends flights to and from Sudan following an incident that occurred at Khartoum airport on April 16, 2023. During clashes between the Sudanese army and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) paramilitary group, a Saudi Arabian Airlines plane came under fire. The state-owned carrier confirmed that all passengers, crew, and staff were safely moved from the airport to the Saudi embassy in Khartoum.
The incident occurred as clashes erupted between the Sudanese army and RSF paramilitary group on Saturday, with gunfire heard in several parts of Khartoum and shooting reported in adjoining cities, according to witnesses. The RSF was established in 2013 to combat rebel groups in the western region of Darfur but has since expanded its operations to other parts of the country.
Sudan has been struggling to maintain control over the country since former President Omar al-Bashir was ousted in 2019. The military, led by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, took control of the country following al-Bashir’s removal but has faced significant opposition from pro-democracy activists and rebel groups.
The suspension of flights by Saudi Arabian Airlines is likely to have a significant impact on Sudan’s economy, which has already been hit hard by the ongoing political instability. The move could also increase tensions between Saudi Arabia and Sudan, which have had a strained relationship in recent years.
The situation in Sudan remains highly volatile, with the potential for further violence and unrest in the coming days and weeks. It is unclear how long the suspension of flights by Saudi Arabian Airlines will last and what impact it will have on the country’s economy and relations with Saudi Arabia.