Tuesday, October 3, 2023
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Tuesday, October 3, 2023
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200 Killed And 1,800 Wounded Amid Fighting In Sudan, People Suffer For Medicine And Food Supplies

After three days of urban warfare, fighting between the army and paramilitaries in Sudan has resulted in 200 deaths, 1,800 injuries, destroyed hospitals, and a shortage of food and medical supplies.

The forces of Sudan’s army head Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and his deputy, Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, who is in charge of the potent paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), engaged in a weeks-long power struggle that erupted into deadly violence on Saturday.

Analysts claim that despite regional and international appeals for a truce and the mobilisation of diplomats, the violence in the capital of the protractedly unstable nation is unprecedented and may continue for some time.

Additionally, there have been battles across the enormous nation, and regional spillover is feared.

The last and holiest days of Ramadan are being observed by terrified citizens of the capital as tanks rumble through the streets, structures tremble, and smoke from fires sparked by the fighting lingers in the air as they watch from their windows.

Heavy gunfire, artillery, and airstrikes have all been used in the fight.

When forced to leave, people encounter lines at open stores for gasoline and bread. Additionally, residents are experiencing power outages.

In a meeting held behind closed doors, Volker Perthes, the chief of the UN mission in Sudan, said that at least 185 people had died and 1,800 had been injured.

After the discussion, Perthes told reporters, “It’s very difficult to determine where the balance is shifting to because it’s a very fluid position.

The warring parties in Sudan were once more urged to “immediately cease hostilities” by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres earlier on Monday. Further escalation, he warned, “could be devastating for the country and the region.”

Nearly 100 civilians and “dozens” of fighters from both sides were reported dead by Sudanese medical personnel earlier, but the actual death toll was likely much higher because many injured people were unable to reach hospitals.

Fighting had “heavily damaged” numerous hospitals in Khartoum and other cities, the official doctors’ organisation warned, with some of them being completely “out of service.”

The World Health Organisation had previously issued a warning that several of the nine hospitals in Khartoum that treat injured civilians “have run out of blood, transfusion equipment, intravenous fluids and other vital supplies”.

International medical assistance group Doctors Without Borders (MSF) reported receiving 136 injured patients at the only hospital in El Fasher that is still operational in North Darfur state in the western part of Darfur.

According to MSF’s Cyrus Paye, “the majority of the wounded are civilians who were caught in the crossfire — among them are many children.”

Since there were not enough surgeons available, “11 people died from their injuries in the first 48 hours of the conflict.”

Three employees of the UN World Food Programme were reportedly among those killed on Saturday in Darfur, where medical and other supplies had been stolen from humanitarian missions, according to MSF and Save the Children.

In a nation where one third of the population need aid, a number of NGOs have temporarily halted activities.

On Monday, it appeared that diplomatic moves increased as the violence continued.

Influential northern neighbour Egypt reported that it had discussed “the need to make every effort to preserve stability and safety” with Saudi Arabia, South Sudan, and Djibouti, all of which are important supporters of Sudan.

Head of the African Union commission Moussa Faki Mahamat, who intends to “immediately” lead a ceasefire mission, spoke with the Gulf emirate Qatar.

However, because of war, there are no longer any civilian flights arriving in Khartoum.

Burhan was referred to as a “radical Islamist who is bombing civilians from the air” by Daglo on Twitter, who urged the world community to take action against him.

“We will continue to pursue Al-Burhan and bring him to justice,” declared Daglo, whose RSF and its forerunner in Darfur, the Janjaweed, had previously been charged with crimes against humanity and war crimes.

According to claims from the Army, the RSF is “a rebel militia” with the goal of “engaging near populated areas”.

Intense differences between Burhan and Daglo over the proposed merger of the RSF into the regular army—a crucial requirement for a final agreement intended to settle the crisis since the coup in 2021, which stalled a transition to democracy—led to the outbreak of hostilities.

They both assert control over important locations, such as the airport and the presidential palace, but none of their claims could be independently verified.

The army started airing its programmes on state TV again on Monday.

The few open grocery businesses issued a warning that they would close quickly if supplies couldn’t get into the city.

Witnesses saw that militiamen had started passing in unlicensed private passenger cars.

Sudanese expert Kho lood Khair claimed the degree of fighting inside the city was “unprecedented” despite the fact that Sudan had undergone decades of numerous, violent civil wars, coups, and rebellions since gaining independence.

After strongman Omar al-Bashir was overthrown in 2019, the generals’ coup stalled the country’s transition to civilian administration, leading to cuts in international funding and nearly weekly protests that were violently put down.

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