• World - Africa
  • Updated: September 18, 2023

Sudan: Flames Destroy Landmark Tower As War Enters Sixth Month

Sudan: Flames Destroy Landmark Tower As War Enters Sixth Mon

One of Sudan's most prominent buildings, a skyscraper that towered over the Nile and housed the headquarters of a major oil corporation, has been reduced to a burning wreck amid fierce combat in the capital between competing military forces.

The Greater Nile Petroleum Operating Company's head office, a glass-sided skyscraper with curving sides topped with a metal coil, was erected during an oil boom before South Sudan's independence in 2011 and was one of Sudan's most expensive constructions.

The building in Khartoum's financial sector, near the junction of the Blue and White Niles and territories battled over by Sudan's army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), erupted in flames and smoke.

It is unknown what ignited the fire that engulfed the tower on Saturday. The RSF accused the army of bombing it and other major structures during early-war efforts to evict paramilitary forces from locations they held across the capital.

Sudan's foreign ministry, which is closely associated with the army, issued a statement on Monday condemning the RSF for torching "a number of major economic institutions and commercial buildings" over the previous two days but did not specifically mention the tower.

The army-RSF conflict erupted in mid-April when tensions over an internationally supported plan for a political transition erupted, four years after long-time ruler Omar al-Bashir was deposed in a popular uprising.

The violence has resulted in extensive fighting, theft, and food and medication shortages in Khartoum and other towns, displacing almost 5 million people.

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