Death toll passes 180 as Sudan fighting escalates
More than 180 people have died during clashes between military groups in Sudan, according to an update on the fighting from United Nations envoy Volker Perthes on Monday.
“Fighting is going on almost uninterrupted,” he said. “I have made efforts to convince the leaders of both sides to hold fire for a humanitarian pause for a few hours to make it possible for the Sudanese to go to safer places or get supplies for Ramadan or go to the hospital.”
Perthes, who spoke to the UN Security Council about the crisis, was trying to get the parties to agree to the daily three-hour ceasefires but said both sides—the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) aligned with the interim government, and the Rapid Support Forces (RAF)—are calling on the other to surrender.
The SAF is led by Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, whose controversial military rule followed the 2021 removal of Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok. Hamdok had been part of a transitional government since the arrest of former president Omar al-Bashir in 2019.
Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, known as Hemedti, leads the RAF and served alongside Burhan in the transitional government.
The fighting in Sudan started in Khartoum on Saturday and quickly spread across the city into the South Kordofan region and other parts of the country. At least three aid workers with the World Food Program were killed in the Darfur region as the fighting escalated.
Both the African Union and the regional Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) body issued statements urging a ceasefire and a diplomatic resolution. IGAD said it was sending the leaders of South Sudan, Djibouti and Kenya to facilitate a return to negotiations.