Fighting has continued for a second day in Sudan, despite a four-hour UN-proposed humanitarian truce.
After three of its employees were killed in Darfur clashes, the UN’s World Food Programme suspended operations in Sudan after Saturday’s violence between the Sudanese army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) killed at least 56 civilians in the capital and spread to other parts of the country. Kassala on the eastern border saw fighting.
The first such outbreak since both joined forces to overthrow veteran Islamist autocrat Omar al-Bashir in 2019 was sparked by a disagreement over the integration of the RSF into the military as part of a transition to civilian rule to end the political-economic crisis sparked by a military coup in 2021.
The US, China, Russia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UN security council, EU, and African Union all called for an immediate end to the hostilities, which could exacerbate regional instability.
Gen Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, head of Sudan’s transitional governing sovereign council, and Gen Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, known as Hemedti, head of the paramilitary RSF, agreed to a three-hour humanitarian pause from 4pm to 7pm local time, but gunfire and smoke could still be heard and seen in live broadcasts from the capital.
Monitors report 22 deaths in Nyala and a further 17 in Al Fasher, northern Darfur.
The long-feared violent conflict between the two main factions of the current military dictatorship threatens to destabilize Sudan and the region and escalate a war for influence between major Gulf states, the US, EU, and Russia.