The World Health Organization says the death toll from nearly one month of brutal fighting in Sudan is now over 600.
The U.N. health agency said Tuesday that more than 5,000 others have been injured in connection with the fighting between Sudan’s military, led by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, led by General Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo.
The two generals are former allies who together orchestrated an October 2021 military coup that derailed a transition to civilian rule following the 2019 ouster of longtime leader Omar al-Bashir.
Tensions between the generals have been growing over disagreements about how the RSF should be integrated in the army and who should oversee that process. The restructuring of the military was part of an effort to restore the country to civilian rule and end the political crisis sparked by the 2021 military coup.
Repeated cease-fire agreements have failed to end the conflict or even do much to reduce the violence.
Envoys for the two factions have been meeting in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia for several days to hash out an agreement to allow humanitarian aid to reach hundreds of thousands in need of food, shelter and medical care in Khartoum and other Sudanese cities.
The Saudi kingdom has already pledged that it will provide Sudan with $100 million worth of aid.
The United Nations refugee agency said Tuesday more than 700,000 Sudanese have fled their homes since the violence broke out last month – a figure that is more than double the 334,000 the agency reported to be internally displaced last week.
The IOM said an additional 100,000 Sudanese have fled the country.
Most aid operations have been suspended or severely scaled back due to the lack of security. Several aid workers have been killed in the fighting.
Looting also has hampered aid operations. The World Food Program said nearly 17,000 tons of food worth between $13 million and $14 million have been stolen from its warehouses across Sudan.
The WFP said Wednesday that up to 2.5 million additional people in Sudan are “expected to slip into hunger” in the near future due to the violence. The U.N. agency says this would take acute food insecurity in Sudan to record levels.
More than 19 million people, or two-fifths of Sudan’s population, are currently affected, according to the WFP.
Some information in this report came from The Associated Press, Reuters and Agence France-Presse.