United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, has strongly condemned the outbreak of violence in Sudan and called on the leaders of the warring sides to immediately cease hostilities and engage in dialogue.
Guterres made the comments on Monday, the third day of fighting between the Sudanese army and the powerful Rapid Support Forces (RSF) paramilitary group.
In his opening remarks at the Forum on Financing for Development on Monday in New York, Guterres said he had spoken with the two rival leaders and urged them to restore calm – even as both al-Burhan and Dagalo have expressed no desire to hold talks.
“The situation has already led to horrendous loss of life, including many civilians,” the UN secretary general said. “Any further escalation could be devastating for the country and the region.
“I urge all those with influence over the situation to use it in the cause of peace, to support efforts to end the violence, restore order and return to the path of transition,” Guterres said.
About 100 civilians have so far been killed, according to doctors, but there are fears the death toll is higher. Both sides have claimed advances in strategic areas, but there was no information on the number of combatants killed.
The violence has once again interrupted Sudan’s fragile transition towards democracy in the wake of the 2019 removal of longtime ruler Omar al-Bashir.