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International

Sudan crisis: UN, African leaders to hold talks as death toll surpasses 200

BY Claire Mom

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António Guterres, secretary-general of the United Nations (UN), is set to hold a virtual meeting on Thursday with African and Arab leaders on the crisis in Sudan.

Some of the stakeholders expected at the meeting include the chairperson of the African Union (AU), the secretary-general of the Arab League, the executive secretary of the East African bloc, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), and other leaders.

Guterres said the meeting would look at ways the international community could help to end the violence and restore order in Sudan.

Thousands of civilians have fled Khartoum, Sudan’s capital, and foreign nations are making efforts to evacuate their citizens amid a sixth day of fierce fighting.

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Tensions heightened on Saturday after heavy gunfire and explosions were witnessed in Khartoum.

Violent clashes between Sudan’s army and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), a paramilitary group, in a power struggle had killed nearly 100 people as of Monday.

In a joint statement on Wednesday, the United States, European Union, United Kingdom and 12 other nations said the death toll had reached 270.

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However, experts say the real figure could be far higher.

The Sudanese military and the RSF had agreed to a 24-hour humanitarian ceasefire on Tuesday, but the truce collapsed within minutes of its proposed launch.

The parties committed to a new 24-hour truce on Wednesday, but reports of shelling have persisted.

Mohamed Dagalo, RSF leader, said attacks from his troops were in self-defence, accusing the army of ambushing the paramilitary group.

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In response, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, Sudan’s military head, ruled out negotiations “until the dissolution of the paramilitary RSF”.

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