A famous Sudanese singer was killed in fighting in Omdurman on Friday, despite a ceasefire to protect civilians.
Shaden Gardood, a prominent Sudanese singer, has been killed in a crossfire between the Sudanese army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) in the town of Omdurman.
Fierce fighting engulfed Omdurman and its sister city of Khartoum on Friday, when Gardood was killed, and Saturday despite an agreement to protect civilians before ceasefire talks resume in Saudi Arabia on Sunday.
Omdurman has seen heavy fighting since the start of the war on April 15, when the two sides fought through several truces and showed no willingness to compromise.
Gardood lived in the el-Hashmab neighborhood, near the National TV and Radio building, a focus of the fighting.
Omdurman is a city of considerable significance, even giving its name to a musical genre called “Omdurman songs”, which combines Egyptian and European orchestral influences with Sudanese rhythms and melodies and was first broadcast on Radio Omdurman.
Tribute pours in
The BBC reported that Gardood promoted peace and security in her region and promoted the culture of her marginalized community, the Baggara of South Kordofan.
Tributes poured in online after her niece confirmed her death on Facebook, saying Gardood was “like a mother and a lover to me, we were just chatting, may God have mercy on her”.
Sudanese artist, singer and poet Shaden Muhammad Hussayn was killed after a mortar hit her home in Omdurman. https://t.co/Mj8w7t0xJR
— Mohanad Hashim (@moehash1) May 13, 2023
Several reports suggested that Gardood had been killed after a mortar hit her house.
Shaden was a young artist who advocated for peace and justice with her song.
She died after a grenade exploded next to her home in Omdurman 💔
May Allah rest her beautiful soul 👐 pic.twitter.com/qMLV1ozz3Y
— حَبابْ (@HababMO) May 13, 2023
The singer was active on Facebook in the days leading up to her death, using the platform to criticize the war while encouraging other civilians caught up in the fighting.
In a recent post, she said: “We have been trapped in our homes for 25 days… we are hungry and living in tremendous fear, but are full of ethics and values.”
The BBC reported that Gardood is survived by her 15-year-old son, Hamoudy, and her mother and sister.
More than 600 civilians are reported to have died in the war so far, though the numbers are expected to be much higher.