Violence reached another level in Sudan on Thursday, with destruction and looting in Darfur and heavy shelling in Khartoum, the thirteenth day of a war between the army and paramilitaries that has claimed the lives of hundreds – if not thousands – of people.

A few hours before the three-day ceasefire agreement expired at midnight (01:00 Greek time), which was only partially observed, the army and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) announced that they had approved its extension for another 72 hours, following an “initiative of Saudi Arabia and the US”.

In a joint statement released in Washington, the members of the Quartet on Sudan (Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Britain and the US), as well as the African Union and the UN, stressed that they “welcome” the extension of the ceasefire fire, calling for its “full implementation” and “ensuring unimpeded humanitarian access”.

This “ceasefire”, which took effect on Tuesday, allowed thousands of foreigners and Sudanese to flee in haste; but it did not stop the continued pounding of Khartoum by military jets and cannons.

Previous efforts to declare a ceasefire between the two sides, which went to war on April 15, have failed.

“I hear intense shelling outside my house,” said a resident of Khartoum yesterday.

The battles in which the army of General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and the dreaded DTY of General Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, or “Hameti”, have been fighting since the middle of the month. they have claimed the lives of at least 500 people and have injured thousands more, according to the – probably underestimated – numbers of the Sudanese Ministry of Health.

Dashing hopes of the country’s transition to democracy, the two generals drove civilians out of the transitional government with them in a coup in 2021, before going to war this month after they failed to agree on the terms of integrating the paramilitaries into the regular army.

In Darfur, an isolated region where access is now impossible, violence escalated, especially in Jenaina, the capital of West Darfur.

“Hospitals, health facilities and public buildings were heavily damaged and there is looting on every street corner,” said a resident in Jenaina.


“We are locked inside our homes, we are too afraid to go out as we do not know the extent of the destruction,” he added.

Little information comes out of this particular region, which neighbors Chad and in the 2000s was the scene of a bloody war. But doctors of the democratic movement announced that at least one of their colleagues had already been killed.

A few days ago, the UN condemned the “attacks against civilians”, the “looting and burning of houses” and the fact that “weapons are distributed” to civilians.

The clashes are making life even more precarious for residents of the state, one of the country’s poorest, where 50,000 “acutely malnourished” children have been deprived of food aid since the UN suspended operations following the killings of five workers.

“Violence, the shutdown of numerous hospitals and medical centers, limited access to drinking water, food shortages and forced displacement of populations” constitute “the greatest health risks in Sudan”, warns the World Health Organization (WHO). .

The hostilities are causing a mass exodus in the country of 45 million people, one of the poorest on the planet.

Tens of thousands of people arrived in neighboring countries: Chad in the west, Ethiopia in the east, South Sudan and the Central African Republic in the south, and Egypt in the north.

The chairman of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Maamat, appealed to neighboring countries and the international community to help people who have fled the fighting and for the warring parties to “immediately agree to a ceasefire to facilitate the distribution humanitarian aid to the Sudanese who need it”.

“Extremely anxious”

In recent days, many governments have organized the hasty evacuation of their citizens from Sudan by ship and plane. More than 200 Iraqis arrived by air in Baghdad yesterday on two planes sent by the government.

Another Saudi ship arrived in the evening at the port in Jeddah (west), bringing to 2,744 the number of people removed by the kingdom. While Canada announced that it proceeded to remove 118 of its citizens and nationals of other states.

Those who remain in war zones are faced with shortages of food, water, electricity, interruptions of access to telephone networks and the internet.

The UN’s transitional humanitarian coordinator for Sudan, Abu Dieng, said he was “extremely concerned about the food supply” and called for “collective action”.

Fourteen hospitals have been bombedaccording to a doctors’ union, while another 19 had to be evacuated because of fires, lack of equipment or personnel, or because the warring parties took them over.