UN: Sudan is on the verge of Full-Scale Civil War
Sudan is on the brink of "full-scale civil war," UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has warned, three months after the army and a powerful paramilitary force clashed in the capital, two neighboring towns, the western Darfur region and other parts of the country.
In a statement released by his spokesman, Guterres called on the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Force (the militia of Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo) to end the fighting and commit to a "permanent cessation of hostilities."
According to UN Deputy Spokesperson Farhan Haq, Guterres is concerned that this full-scale civil war has the potential to "destabilize the entire region".
This happened after an airstrike on the Omdurman metropolis, located next to the capital Khartoum, in which, according to the country's health authorities, at least 22 people died. The statement, which is on the occasion of the strike, follows an exchange of accusations by both sides about who is responsible.
According to the Rapid Support Force, the regular army was responsible for the attack, and the number of casualties was higher than the health ministry's statement - 31. The armed forces responded by claiming that the Dalago militia used the fact that air force planes were circling over Omdurman to bomb residential areas and then shift responsibility.
Omdurman is the most populous city in Sudan with over 2.3 million inhabitants, and in the region along the Nile where it is located, close to it are the capital Khartoum and Khartoum Bahri (North Khartoum); together they form an urban agglomeration with a total population of 5.27 million people.
Fighting is reported to continue in several southern provinces - North Kordofan, South Kordofan, Blue Nile - two of which border South Sudan and Ethiopia. In Darfur, the authorities urged residents to take up arms as early as a month and a half ago; last week, the army made such a call at the national level.
It is estimated that at least 3,000 people died and 6,000 were injured in the course of the conflict. A month after the first serious fears of a powerful wave of ethnic violence, survivors of the fighting speak of ethnically motivated killings in the cities where the two forces clash. Nearly 3 million have fled their homes, with 700,000 fleeing to other countries, according to the International Organization for Migration. Of these, nearly 255,000 entered Egypt.
At least two regional councils will deal with the conflict in the coming days. The first is today (July 10) in Addis Ababa, where the leaders of Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and South Sudan will meet. The second will be on Thursday, July 13, in Cairo and was announced by the Egyptian presidency. Egypt, the most important international ally of Sudan's regular army, has long refrained from a mediating role.
It is not known whether Sudanese representatives will be involved in Cairo, but they are expected to be present in Addis Ababa today. Egypt and Ethiopia are in tense relations over a massive dam that Cairo says could wreak havoc along the Nile.
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