United Nations: Ongoing violent clashes between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) have so far killed 185 people and wounded another 1,800, a UN envoy confirmed. Volker Perthes, head of the UN Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan, briefed the Security Council in a closed-door session on the latest situation of the conflict, reports Xinhua news agency.
“It’s a very fluid situation, so it’s very difficult to say where the balance is shifting to,” Perthes told reporters after the meeting. He said the two sides showed no signs of being willing to negotiate.
The violent clashes first erupted on April 15 between the SAF and RSF in Khartoum and other cities, with the two sides accusing each other of initiating the conflict.
The tension between the two military forces has escalated since April 12 in the Merowe region in northern Sudan, after the RSF moved military vehicles to a location near the military air base there, a move that the army considered illegal.
Deep differences have emerged between the Sudanese army and the RSF, particularly regarding the latter’s integration into the army as stipulated in a framework agreement signed between military and civilian leaders on December 5, 2022.
The RSF was formed in 2013 and has its origins in the notorious Janjaweed militia that brutally fought off rebels in Darfur. Since then, RSF leader Gen Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo has built a powerful force that has intervened in conflicts in Yemen and Libya and controls some of Sudan’s gold mines.
It has also been accused of human rights abuses, including the massacre of more than 120 protesters in June 2019. This fighting is the latest episode in bouts of tension that followed the ousting of long-serving President Omar al-Bashir in 2019.