CAIRO (AFP) — U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Sudan was on the brink of a “full-scale civil war” as fierce clashes between rival generals continued unabated Sunday in the capital, Khartoum.
He warned on Saturday evening that the war between the Sudanese military and a powerful paramilitary force is likely to destabilize the entire region, according to Farhan Haq, deputy spokesperson for the secretary-general.
The Ministry of Health has reported a devastating air strike in Omdurman, Sudan’s sister city, resulting in the deaths of 22 civilians and a significant number of injuries. The incident, which occurred on Saturday, has further fueled outrage in a country already grappling with a protracted conflict between rival generals. The air strike took place in the Dar al-Salam district, known as the “House of Peace” in Arabic, and adds to the mounting casualties and atrocities witnessed during the war. The United Nations has expressed deep concern over the situation, warning of the potential for a full-scale civil war that could destabilize the entire region.
Sudan’s ongoing conflict between rival generals has led to a staggering death toll of approximately 3,000, with survivors reporting widespread sexual violence and ethnically targeted killings. The Darfur region, in particular, has witnessed looting and potential crimes against humanity, prompting international alarm. Disturbing footage shared by the health ministry on Facebook revealed dismembered bodies, including women among the victims, strewn on the ground following the air strike. The Rapid Support Forces (RSF), a paramilitary group engaged in combat against the regular army, claimed that the strike resulted in the deaths of 31 individuals.
The presence of paramilitary bases in residential areas has been a significant concern, as these groups are accused of forcibly displacing civilians from their homes. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned the Omdurman air strike, stating that it reportedly claimed the lives of at least 22 people and left dozens wounded. Guterres expressed deep apprehension about the armed forces’ ongoing war, warning that Sudan teeters on the brink of a full-scale civil war with potentially far-reaching consequences for regional stability.
The conflict has had far-reaching humanitarian implications, with nearly three million people displaced within Sudan, and close to 700,000 seeking refuge in neighboring countries, according to the International Organization for Migration. The United Nations and African blocs have highlighted the ethnic dimension of the conflict in Darfur, holding the RSF and allied militias accountable for numerous violations. Beyond Darfur and the capital city Khartoum, reports of fighting have emerged from Blue Nile state near Ethiopia and South Kordofan state.
Over the weekend, residents of El-Obeid, the capital of North Kordofan, reported renewed fighting, underscoring the volatile situation. Farhan Haq, the deputy spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General, labeled the disregard for humanitarian and human rights law as dangerous and disturbing. He expressed support for peace efforts led by the African Union and the East African bloc IGAD. In an effort to address Sudan’s crisis, leaders from Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, and South Sudan, members of IGAD, are scheduled to convene in Addis Ababa. While Sudan’s army chief and the RSF commander have been invited, their attendance remains uncertain.
The air strike in Omdurman has intensified public outrage amidst Sudan’s ongoing conflict, resulting in a rising death toll and widespread atrocities. The international community, including the United Nations and regional organizations, is gravely concerned about the potential escalation of the war into a full-scale civil war. Efforts to achieve peace and stability in Sudan continue, as leaders from neighboring countries convene to address the crisis. However, the challenges ahead remain daunting, as previous ceasefires have been repeatedly disregarded, exacerbating the suffering of Sudanese civilians caught in the crossfire.
The reported air strike in Omdurman, Sudan, highlights the escalating violence and humanitarian crisis that has plagued the country due to the ongoing conflict between rival generals. The attack resulted in a significant loss of civilian lives, further fueling public outrage and international concern. The Dar al-Salam district, aptly named the “House of Peace,” has become a site of devastation, reflecting the devastating impact of the war on innocent lives.
The conflict in Sudan has already claimed the lives of approximately 3,000 individuals, with survivors recounting harrowing tales of sexual violence and ethnically targeted killings. These heinous acts, combined with widespread looting and potential crimes against humanity, have attracted the attention of the United Nations, which has warned of the potential for a full-scale civil war and its destabilizing effects on the entire region.
The disturbing video footage shared by the health ministry on social media platforms vividly depicts the aftermath of the air strike, with dismembered bodies lying on the ground. The presence of women among the victims underscores the indiscriminate nature of the attack and the devastating toll it has taken on civilians.
The involvement of paramilitary groups, such as the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), has further complicated the situation. Accused of establishing bases in residential areas and forcibly displacing civilians, these groups have contributed to the deteriorating humanitarian conditions in Sudan.
The condemnation of the air strike by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres emphasizes the gravity of the situation and the urgent need for intervention. The potential for a full-scale civil war has dire implications not only for Sudan but also for neighboring countries, given the region’s history of unrest and instability.
The conflict’s humanitarian consequences are deeply concerning, with millions of people uprooted from their homes and seeking refuge within Sudan and across borders. The ethnic dimension of the conflict in Darfur has raised alarms, with international actors holding the RSF and allied militias accountable for widespread violations.
The renewed fighting in El-Obeid, the capital of North Kordofan, adds to the volatile nature of the situation. The disregard for humanitarian and human rights laws, as highlighted by the UN spokesperson, underscores the urgent need for concerted peace efforts led by regional organizations such as the African Union and IGAD.
The upcoming meeting of leaders from Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, and South Sudan signifies the collective effort to address Sudan’s crisis. However, the attendance of Sudan’s army chief and the RSF commander remains uncertain, casting doubt on the prospects for meaningful dialogue and resolution.
The repeated failure of ceasefires in the past reflects the complexities and challenges involved in finding a lasting solution to the conflict. The suffering of Sudanese civilians caught in the crossfire continues unabated, underscoring the urgent need for swift and decisive action to protect innocent lives and restore stability to the country.