Death toll grows in Sudan clashes

Lazy eyes listen


The World Health Organization said on Sunday evening that at least 83 people had been killed and over 1,126 injured in clashes across Sudan, warning of a looming healthcare crisis and urging the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and Rapid Support Forces (RSF) to at least ensure unrestricted access to hospitals, after a brief UN-proposed humanitarian ceasefire failed to hold.

“Supplies distributed by WHO to health facilities prior to this recent escalation of conflict have now been exhausted, and many of the nine hospitals in Khartoum receiving injured civilians are reporting shortages of blood, transfusion equipment, intravenous fluids, medical supplies, and other life-saving commodities,” the agency said in a statement on Sunday. It also mentioned water and power outages, fuel shortages, and a dearth of specialist medical professionals.

The UN World Food Programme says it was forced to suspend operations in Sudan after three of its employees were killed and two others were injured, and a WFP-operated plane was “significantly damaged” during fighting at Khartoum International Airport.

On Sunday afternoon, the warring parties agreed to a brief humanitarian ceasefire, but retained the ability to “respond in the event of transgressions.” Heavy artillery and gunfire could still be heard in several parts of the capital at the time.

According to Al Jazeera reporter Hiba Morgan, “the entire purpose of the three-hour ceasefire period was to allow those who were trapped around the presidential palace, around the general command of the army to be able to escape.”

On Saturday, fighting erupted between the SAF and the RSF, an autonomous security agency with roots in pro-government militias, in Khartoum and other towns. Each side has accused the other of launching the war while making contradictory claims about their successes. The precise power balance on the ground is unknown, with the international community pressing for a truce and discussions.

Omar al-Bashir, Sudan’s president for more than 25 years, was deposed in a coup in 2019. Since then, the country has been administered by the Transitional Sovereignty Council (TSC), which was briefly abolished and then resurrected following another coup in 2021. Its president, army Chief General Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, is the de facto ruler of the country. The deputy chairman is RSF commander General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, also known as Hemedti.