Bombardments and gunfire rage on in Sudan’s capital Khartoum for a fourth day, with the civilian death toll rising to at least 97 and the number of injured at 365, according to data published on Monday by the Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors.
Clashes erupted on Saturday in the continuing power struggle between Abdel Fattah al-Burhan’s Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the influential paramilitary group Rapid Support Forces (RSF), led by his deputy, Mohamed Hamdan Daglo.
Three UN World Food Programme employees were among those killed in the violence, forcing the agency’s operations in Sudan to be temporarily halted.
The Indian Embassy there also announced on Sunday that one of its nationals “working in a Dal Group Company in Sudan who got hit by a stray bullet” on Saturday had “succumbed to his injuries.”
Airlines including Qatar Airways and Kenya Airways have suspended flights to and from the conflict-torn country amid the fighting and the closure of Khartoum International Airport.
Calls for a cease-fire have intensified, with Washington and London joining forces on Monday to urge for a return to negotiations in Khartoum.
“There is a shared deep concern about the fighting [and] violence that’s going on in Sudan, the threat that that poses to civilians, that it poses to the Sudanese nation and potentially poses even to the region,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said during a meeting in Japan alongside his British counterpart James Cleverly.
Cleverly also said the “immediate future of Sudan lies in the hands of the generals,” calling on them “to put peace first [and] get back to negotiations,” emphasizing that “that’s what the people of Sudan deserve.”
Moscow had earlier voiced concern about the situation in Sudan and has encouraged “the parties to the conflict to show political will and restraint and take prompt measures to cease fire.”
On Sunday, neighboring countries and regional bodies increased their efforts to bring an end to the violence in Sudan.
Leaders from East Africa reportedly held an emergency virtual session and urged an immediate halt to hostilities between the conflicting parties.
Additionally, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and South Sudanese President Salva Kiir expressed their willingness to mediate a resolution to the conflict, during a phone call.
Meanwhile, the Sudanese army chief is said to have declared the RSF a rebel organisation on Monday and has given directives for its immediate dissolution.
In 2019, a coup removed from power Omar al-Bashir, who had ruled Sudan for over 25 years.
Since then the country has been under the leadership of the Transitional Sovereignty Council (TSC). However, the TSC was dissolved for a short period following another coup in 2021, before being reinstated.
Recently, tensions have been rising between army chief and TSC chairman Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and RSF commander Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, who is also the deputy chairman of the body. Efforts to mediate these tensions have been unsuccessful, leading to the current conflict.