No impression of peace, mediation efforts as Sudan fighting rages on: UN

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The United Nations’ top official in Sudan says the two warring military factions that have taken the country to the brink of a full-scale civil war are not currently giving the impression that they want mediation towards peace.

The Secretary General’s Special Representative for Sudan, Volker Perthes, was briefing the media from Khartoum where he says fighting has been going on uninterrupted.

The death toll is at 185 and climbing while over 1 800 people, both military and civilians, had been injured.

This as the three African members emerged from a closed Security Council briefing reiterating the African Union (AU) and UN’s call for an immediate ceasefire and for Sudanese authorities to open their airspace to allow mediators from the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) to travel to Sudan to mediate between the parties.

After days of high stakes diplomacy including calls from the UN Secretary General to both faction leaders, no indication yet that either side is ready to lay down their arms amid raging battles including gunfire and explosions in the capital Khartoum.

The fighting between the Sudanese armed forces under General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan who heads the ruling military council, and Rapid Support Forces leader General, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, who is his deputy on the Council, has now spread across the country, with both sides claiming military gains that cannot be independently confirmed.

The UN has pledged to investigate the deaths of three World Food Programme officials caught in the crossfire.

Calls for peace

The three African members of the Security Council are calling on both sides to embrace the spirit of the Muslim holy month.

With UN staff sheltering in place, the organisation says it remains largely blind to the military developments on the ground but has maintained open lines of communication with both sides.

This is while some 16 million people – at least one-third of the country – remain in need of humanitarian aid for their survival – adding urgency to calls for an immediate cessation of hostilities.

More details in the report below: