Conflicts & War

Sudanese doctors estimate 144 civilian deaths since Saturday

Khartoum, Apr 18 (EFE).- The Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors reported Tuesday that at least 144 civilians have died and more than 1,400 have been injured since the beginning of the fighting last weekend between the army and paramilitary group Rapid Support Forces.

This independent committee said in the report that this is a preliminary number of victims, as there are areas it has been unable to reach to count the dead and injured. This is also a lower figure than that provided Monday by the United Nations of more than 180 deaths

Forty seven civilians died Monday during the third day of armed conflict while 467 were wounded between civilians and soldiers, according to the committee.

One of the most affected regions is Khartoum, the capital, where at least 10 people died.

This report does not include the region of Darfur, in western Sudan, one of the most affected since the start of the conflict and where the UN and other humanitarian agencies have a greater presence to count the victims.

The Central Committee of Physicians said the number of deaths and injuries “is increasing at an exponential rate” and warned of the “dire consequences” of the loss of life, as well as “the difficulty of evacuating and accounting for the dead, injured, stranded and other detainees.”

He said the situation in hospitals “is getting worse” as many health centers “are out of service due to the missile attack, power outages and shortages of supplies and aid.”

“While we condemn in the strongest terms this ongoing war, we appeal and demand the opening of safe passages to treat the sick and wounded, and to deliver supplies of food and medicine,” the doctors said in the report.

United States State Secretary Antony Blinken said Tuesday that a US diplomatic convoy was attacked Monday in Sudan, without its members being injured, by the paramilitary forces.

All the members are “safe” after a “reckless and irresponsible” incident involving vehicles with diplomatic license plates, said Blinken, who also said the militias fired at US flags in the convoy.

Militia group leader Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, or Hemedti,” spoke Tuesday with Blinken, and told him s.-he reiterated his commitment to safeguard the lives of civilians in areas they control.

“We reaffirm our unwavering commitment to safeguard innocent civilians in our control areas, which reflects our respect for human dignity and the sanctity of life,” the Sudanese said on his official Twitter account after having a conversation with Blinken who described as “vital”.

“We speak of Sudan’s pressing issues and our common dedication to freedom, justice and democracy for our peoples. We recognize the challenges before us, standing firm against extremism that undermines our progress towards a just and democratic society.” Hemedti said.

He said it is necessary to “protect” the people and defend their values, as they “reluctantly participate in this war.”

“I am grateful to Mr. Blinken and the US for their continued support and shared commitment to restoring stability to Sudan. We will have another call to continue the dialogue and work hand-in-hand to forge a brighter future for our nations,” he said.

UN special envoy to Sudan Volker Perthes said at a Monday press conference that they had already recorded more than 180 civilian deaths and more than 1,800 wounded during the three days of fighting. He said this included three aid workers from the World Food Program killed while trying to serve the Sudanese in North Darfur.

In total, 250 UN programs of all kinds have had to be interrupted and, in addition, millions of people are without access to food, water and other vital services because of the fighting, according to the organization.

The clashes come after weeks of tensions between the army and paramilitary forces over the reform of the security forces during negotiations to form a new transitional government.

Both military forces were responsible for jointly overthrowing the transitional government of Sudan in a coup in October 2021. EFE


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