Human tragedy warned, intl efforts ramped up as Sudan clashes continue



Fighting between the army and paramilitaries in Sudan has killed around 200 people and wounded at least 1,800, causing worries about human tragedy and urging more diplomatic efforts.

A weeks-long power struggle exploded into deadly violence on Saturday between the forces of two generals who seized power in a 2021 coup, Sudan's army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and his deputy, Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, who commands the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF).

'Unprecedented and could be prolonged' fighting

Analysts say the fighting in the capital of the chronically unstable country is unprecedented and could be prolonged, despite regional and global calls for a ceasefire as diplomats mobilize.

Battles have also taken place throughout the vast country, and there are fears of regional spillover.

The conflict has seen air strikes, artillery and heavy gunfire, causing severe damage to multiple industries. For example, residents are dealing with power shortages and water outages.

Volker Perthes, the head of the United Nations mission to Sudan, told the Security Council in a closed-door session that at least 185 people have been killed and another 1,800 wounded.

"It's a very fluid situation so it's very difficult to say where the balance is shifting to," Perthes told reporters after the meeting.

Humanitarian crisis warned

Medics in Sudan had earlier given a death toll of nearly 100 civilians and "dozens" of fighters from both sides, but the number of casualties was thought to be far higher, with many wounded unable to reach hospitals.

The official doctors' union warned fighting had "heavily damaged" multiple hospitals in Khartoum and other cities, with some completely "out of service."

The World Health Organization had already warned that several of Khartoum's nine hospitals receiving injured civilians "have run out of blood, transfusion equipment, intravenous fluids and other vital supplies."

In the western region of Darfur, international medical aid organization Doctors Without Borders (MSF) reported receiving 136 wounded patients at the only hospital in El Fasher still operating in North Darfur state, adding that many children are among the wounded.

To ensure employees' safety, a number of organizations have temporarily suspended operations in the country where one-third of its population needs aid.

Diplomatic efforts ramp up

Diplomatic maneuvers seemed to ramp up Monday, as the fighting showed no signs of abating.

Earlier Monday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres again called on Sudan's warring parties to "immediately cease hostilities." He warned that further escalation "could be devastating for the country and the region."

Northern neighbor Egypt announced it had discussed with Saudi Arabia, South Sudan and Djibouti - all close allies of Sudan - "the need to make every effort to preserve stability and safety."

The Gulf emirate Qatar spoke to African Union commission head Moussa Faki Mahamat, who is planning to "immediately" undertake a ceasefire mission.