Sudan death toll nears 100 as clashes continue
17 April, 2023 | Pragati Singh
The violence had killed 97 civilians and injured nearly 600 others as of early Monday.
According to the Sudanese Doctors Union, the death toll from fighting between the Sudanese army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) has risen to 97. The violence had killed 97 civilians and injured nearly 600 others as of early Monday. According to the Sudan Doctors Central Committee, stray artillery struck a hospital in the capital’s southern outskirts, causing “a state of terror and panic,” but patients and staff were unharmed.
Witnesses in Khartoum’s capital city told CNN that fighting erupted after Sunday morning prayers, with loud noises and explosions heard all night. There have also been reports of battles hundreds of miles away in Port Sudan’s eastern city.
As political factions negotiate the formation of a transitional government following a military coup in 2021, the armed forces and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) have been competing for power. According to Al Jazeera, the tensions stem from a disagreement between the military, led by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, and the RSF, led by General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, over how the paramilitary force should be integrated into the armed forces and who should oversee the process.
The military had promised to hand over control to a civilian-led government this month, 18 months after its coup. Nonetheless, the process has been defined by a feud between General al-Burhan and General Hamdan, also known as Hemeti.
In recent months, the two generals have openly criticised each other in speeches, and they have dispatched reinforcements and armoured vehicles to oppose military camps spread throughout the city.
Meanwhile, three World Food Programme employees died on Saturday. The UN agency has temporarily halted all operations following the death of three staff members in the clash.
Cindy McCain, Executive Director of the UN agency, said in a statement on Sunday that all operations in Sudan have been suspended pending a review of the evolving security situation.
“WFP is committed to assisting the Sudanese people facing dire food insecurity,” said McCain, adding, “but we cannot do our lifesaving work if the safety and security of our teams and partners are not guaranteed. All parties must come to an agreement that ensures the safety of humanitarian workers on the ground and enables the continued delivery of life-saving humanitarian assistance to the people of Sudan. They remain our top priority.”