Sudan crisis: death toll reaches 550 amid armed conflicttext_fields
Khartoum: The Sudanese Health Ministry has reported that more than 550 people have died as a result of the ongoing armed conflict between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF).
The ministry claimed in a statement on Tuesday that "550 deaths and 4,926 injuries were recorded in all hospitals in Sudanese states," adding that all states, with the exception of Khartoum and Central Darfur, were peaceful.
Despite the sixth 72-hour truce, intermittent clashes continued between the SAF and the RSF in various areas in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum and Omdurman, Xinhua news agency reported.
The SAF carried out intensive airstrikes against RSF positions in Bahri (Khartoum North), west of Omdurman, and around the army's general command in central Khartoum, eyewitnesses said.
The RSF, meanwhile, accused the SAF of violating the humanitarian truce.
In a statement on Tuesday, the RSF said it managed to shoot down a SAF military plane, but the SAF spokesman's office could not be reached to comment on the claim.
Regarding the regional efforts to seek a settlement to the armed conflict in Sudan, local media reported an initiative by South Sudan's President Salva Kiir Mayardit for reaching a 7-day cease-fire.
South Sudan's Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the SAF Commander Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan and the RSF Commander Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo had accepted the initiative. However, neither side has commented on the statement.
Meanwhile, the Forces of Freedom and Change Alliance (FFC), a civilian political coalition in Sudan, on Tuesday called on the Sudanese people to stage demonstrations demanding the end of the conflict.
"Today (Tuesday), the alliance called for large-scale protests at the areas which are not affected by the conflict to push for negotiations and stoppage of the war," tweeted Yassir Arman, the FFC's spokesman.
"We, in villages and cities which are not affected by the war, must come out in masses to push for negotiations and stoppage of the war," said Arman.
The Sudanese police forces on Tuesday carried out widespread campaigns in Khartoum to combat crimes, blocking the roads to prevent criminals and outlaws from committing illegal activities.
"This step comes as part of the plan of the police force's command which aims to impose prestige of the state and the rule of law," the press office of the Sudanese police said in a statement.
"The campaign tends to secure markets, important commercial sites and vital facilities," it said.
Fighting between the SAF and the RSF in Khartoum and other areas erupted on April 15, with the two sides accusing each other of initiating the conflict which has pushed the country to the edge of a humanitarian crisis.
According to UN statistics, thousands of Sudanese citizens have been displaced or forced to seek refuge in safe areas in Sudan and neighbouring countries, including Egypt, Ethiopia and Chad.
With inputs from IANS