The number of civilians killed in two days of fighting in Sudan rises to 97

Heavy fighting broke out in the Sudanese capital on Sunday, the second day of clashes between the army and a group of paramilitary forces, which left at least 97 civilians dead, including three United Nations aid workers.

He explained that the figure does not include all the victims, because many were unable to reach hospitals due to the difficulties of displacement.

While the number of wounded has reached hundreds since the clashes began on Saturday, the World Health Organization warned that “many of the nine hospitals in Khartoum receiving wounded civilians are out of blood and transfusions of intravenous fluids and other vital supplies.”

Three dead UN workers

The United Nations World Food Program has said that following the death of three of its staff, it will suspend operations in the African country.

Fighting between the regular army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces has sparked international concern and led to the closure of borders between neighboring Egypt and Chad.

Witnesses said that silent explosions and heavy fire shook buildings in the densely populated northern and southern suburbs of Khartoum.

Fighting continued after dark on Sunday as Sudanese huddled in their homes, fearing the protracted conflict could plunge Sudan deeper into chaos, dashing hopes of a transition to a civilian-led democracy.

One of the poorest countries in the world

Conflict has been brewing for weeks, preventing a political agreement in one of the world’s poorest countries. Since the popular revolution that toppled Omar al-Bashir in 2019, Sudan has been trying to hold its first free elections after 30 years of dictatorship.

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During the coup that ended the democratic transition in October 2021, army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and army chief Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo joined forces to oust civilians from power.

But the fighting between the generals turned violent on Saturday.

Late Sunday afternoon, the military said it had “accepted the UN proposal to open a humanitarian corridor” for three hours, ending at 5:00pm GMT. Reporters Without Borders confirmed the move.

“The shots and explosions don’t stop.”

Despite the pause, heavy gunfire was heard in the center of Khartoum. “The shooting and explosions do not stop,” said Ahmed Hamid, 34, from the northern suburbs of Khartoum.

The RAF under Dagalo says it has captured the presidential palace, Khartoum airport and other strategic locations, but the army insists it is still in control.

Fighting is also taking place in the western region of Darfur and in the eastern border state of Kassala.

The United Nations said its staff at the World Food Program were killed in clashes in North Darfur on Saturday. After his death and the deaths of other civilians, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, called for “justice without delay”.

The conflict has been managed for a long time

The United Nations says a third of Sudan’s population needs humanitarian aid.

The RAF arose in 2013, from the Janjaweed militia that President Bashir unleashed on non-Arab ethnic minorities in Darfur a decade earlier, prompting accusations of war crimes.

The planned integration of the Rwandan armed forces into the regular army was a key element in talks to finalize an agreement that was expected to restore civil transition in Sudan and end the political and economic crisis sparked by the 2021 military coup by Al-Burhan and Daglu.

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Calls for an end to the fighting came from across the region and the world, including from the United States, the United Kingdom, China, the European Union and Russia, while Pope Francis urged a resumption of dialogue.

After a meeting on Sudan, the African Union said a senior official would go to the country “immediately” to seek a ceasefire, while the Arab League holds an emergency meeting in Cairo.

Former Sudanese Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok, at a press conference in Abu Dhabi, described the humanitarian situation as “catastrophic” and called for a truce.

But for now, the two generals don’t seem willing to talk, and call each other criminals.

Al-Burhan, a soldier who rose through the ranks under the now-jailed Islamist general al-Bashir, said the 2021 coup was “necessary” to draw more factions into politics.

Dagalo described the coup as a “mistake” because it failed to bring about change and reinvigorated some elements of the Bashir regime, which was overthrown by the army in 2019 after mass protests.

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