Fighting has intensified in Sudan despite an extended truce between the country’s two warring generals, with the civilian death toll rising and thousands more fleeing the war zone on Sunday.
The Sudanese army said on Sunday that it had agreed that the ceasefire with the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) would be extended for a further 72 hours from the end of the current ceasefire at midnight local time. local. [2200 GMT].
But hopes that the ceasefire could have stopped the attacks have faded in recent days, with an escalation of gunfire and airstrikes on the streets of the capital Khartoum. The airstrikes also hit the neighboring city of Omdurman.
At least 435 civilians have been killed in the fighting, according to a report by the Sudan Doctors Union on Sunday, while on Saturday Sudan’s Ministry of Health put the total death toll, including combatants, at 528. The actual figure could be much higher. while millions remain trapped in Khartoum.
Several countries continued to fight to get citizens out of the war zone on Sunday, with 136 brought to the UAE by plane. The images showed passengers looking relieved, including families, parents and the elderly who had fled the conflict.
More than 1,000 US citizens have been airlifted from the eastern point of Port Sudan with more rescues to follow. The US citizens and others eligible for the convoy continued on to Saudi Arabia.
Britain earlier announced that a rescue flight would leave Port Sudan on Monday to help evacuate stranded citizens, amid fears that 1,000 UK citizens remain in the country. So far, 2,122 citizens have been rescued on 23 flights.
The head of Britain’s armed forces said on Sunday he was “pleased” with how the evacuation has gone, ahead of the additional flight.
Asked if he would rule out a military intervention in Sudan, Defense Chief of Staff Admiral Sir Tony Radakin said: “The armed forces respond to whatever it takes. But this is what we call a non-combatant evacuation operation and it has stayed firmly in that space.”
The attached British rescue flight will take advantage of the extended ceasefire, which the Sudanese military said on Sunday would last from midnight Sunday for 72 hours. It said in a statement that the truce would “open humanitarian corridors and facilitate the movement of citizens and residents and allow them to meet their needs and reach safe areas.”
The situation in Khartoum, where the army has been fighting RSF forces entrenched in residential areas, was relatively calm on Sunday morning after heavy clashes were heard on Saturday night near the city center.
The army said on Sunday it had destroyed RSF convoys heading towards Khartoum from the west. The RSF said the army had used artillery and warplanes to attack their positions in various areas of Khartoum province.
The fighting broke out earlier this month after a disagreement between army leader Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and RSF chief Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo over how to transition to a democracy after the fall of dictator Omar al-Bashir.
In an apparent bid to build up its forces, the army said on Saturday that the Central Reserve Police had begun deploying to the south of Khartoum and would gradually deploy to other areas of the capital.
Sudanese police said the force had been deployed to protect markets and properties that had been looted. The RSF warned him on Saturday not to get involved in the fighting.
Meanwhile, a plane carrying eight tons of emergency medical aid has landed in Sudan to resupply fighting-ravaged hospitals.
More than two-thirds of hospitals in areas with active fighting are out of service, a national association of doctors said, citing shortages of medical supplies, health workers, water and electricity.
On Sunday, the aircraft carrying medical aid took off from Jordan and landed in the city of Port Sudan, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) reported.
“The hope is to get this material to some of the busiest hospitals in the capital” Khartoum and other hotspots, said Patrick Youssef, the ICRC’s regional director for Africa.