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Tue, Mar

Sudan Crisis: Buhari Calls For Ceasefire As Death Toll Rises

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Fierce fighting between military and para-military has continued in Sudan’s capital despite a temporary ceasefire to address humanitarian needs including the evacuation of wounded, on the second day of battles that left dozens killed. The death toll among civilians… has reached 97, more than half of them in Khartoum and its suburbs, while “dozens” of military and paramilitary personnel died according to pro-democracy doctors. Over 1000 were wounded on Sunday. The clashes are part of a power struggle between Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan, the commander of the armed forces, and Gen. Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo, known as “Hemedti”, the head of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) group, thousands of ex-militiamen of the Darfur war who have become official auxiliaries of the regular troops, degenerated into violence on Saturday morning in the streets of this country of 45 million inhabitants, among the poorest in the world, torn by war for decades.

The violence continued Sunday morning. The deserted streets of Khartoum were saturated with the smell of gunpowder after explosions and gunfire rang out throughout the night. The military had warned in the evening on Facebook: "the air force will conduct operations to finish with the rebel militias of the Rapid Support, civilians must stay home.

The two generals are former allies who jointly orchestrated an October 2021 military coup that derailed Sudan's short-lived transition to democracy.

Medical personnel have repeatedly pleaded for safe corridors for ambulances and a ceasefire to treat the victims, because the streets remain too dangerous for transporting casualties to hospital.

Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari and the Transitional President of Chad, Gen. Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno, have expressed concerns over the precarious development. Both leaders have condemned the crisis and called on neighbouring countries and the international community to prevail on the warring factions to end the fighting and move into negotiation.

In order for the crisis not to snowball into other neigbouring countries, the Chad President Deby-Itno said, “they have closed their borders to Sudan and reinforced security”.

Buhari on his part said the situation if unfortunate, adding that Sudan deserved peace after all it had gone through. He has spoken to the leaders of both factions.

He insisted that if everyone tries, it will calm down the situation.