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UN chief urges warring parties in Sudan to immediately stop fighting

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Thursday called on the Sudanese army and paramilitary forces to immediately stop the fighting and appealed for an immediate ceasefire.

The call came after a meeting convened by the African Union to discuss the dramatic situations in Sudan where at least 270 people have been killed and 2,600 others injured in clashes since Saturday.

“There was a strong consensus on condemning the ongoing fighting in Sudan and calling for a cessation of hostilities,” Guterres told reporters.

“As an immediate priority, I appeal for a ceasefire to take place for at least three days, marking the Eid al-Fitr celebrations, to allow civilians trapped in conflict zones to escape and to seek medical treatment, food and other essential supplies.

“All parties to the conflict are Muslim. We are living in a very important moment in the Muslim calendar. I think this is the right moment for a ceasefire to hold. This ceasefire is absolutely crucial at the present moment,” he added.

The UN chief also expressed deep concern about the terrible toll on civilians, the appalling humanitarian situation, and the horrifying prospect of further escalation.

He said that warehouses, vehicles and other humanitarian assets have been attacked, looted and seized.

“This is completely outrageous,” he said.

Fighting erupted Saturday between the Sudanese army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) in the capital Khartoum and its surroundings.

The RSF accused the army of attacking its forces in the south of Khartoum with light and heavy weapons, while the military claimed that the paramilitary force was “spreading lies,” and labeled it a “rebel” group.

Sudan has been without a functioning government since Oct. 2021, when the military dismissed Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok’s transitional government and declared a state of emergency in what political forces called a “coup.”

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