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Clashes in Sudan

GENEVA (United Nations): The visit by top UN humanitarian official Martin Griffiths comes one day after neighboring South Sudan announced that the warring sides had agreed “in principle” to a seven-day ceasefire.

Deadly violence broke out on 15th April between Sudan’s Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, who commands the regular army, and his former deputy Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, who commands the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces.

At least 550 people have been killed and 4,926 wounded, according to the latest health ministry figures Wednesday, which are likely to be incomplete.

Tens of thousands of Sudanese have fled to neighboring countries in an exodus that has sparked warnings of a humanitarian “catastrophe” with implications for the entire region.

On Wednesday, Griffiths arrived in Port Sudan on the Red Sea coast on an urgent mission to find ways to bring relief to the millions of Sudanese who are unable to flee.

Griffiths called for security guarantees “at the highest level” to ensure desperately needed aid deliveries to war-ravaged parts of the country.

He said he had been informed by the UN’s World Food Programme that six trucks bringing aid to the country’s western Darfur region had been “looted en route” Wednesday, “despite assurances of safety and security”.

Earlier, the foreign ministry of neighboring South Sudan announced that Burhan and Daglo “have agreed in principle for a seven-day truce from May 4th to 11th”.

The two sides have yet to formally confirm the new ceasefire.

The two men have agreed multiple truces since the fighting began but none has effectively taken hold.

The current truce was extended on Sunday by a further 72 hours and is due to expire on Wednesday at 2200 GM.

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M M Alam

M. M. Alam is a Pakistan-based working journalist since 1981. Karachi University faculty gold medalist Alam began his career four decades ago by writing for Dawn, Pakistan’s highest circulating English daily. He has worked for region’s leading publications, global aviation periodicals including Rotors (of USA) and vetted New York Times as permanent employee of daily Express Tribune. Alam regularly covers international aviation and defense-related events including Salon Du Bourget (France), Farnborough (United Kingdom), Dubai (UAE). Alam has reported thousands of events and interviewed hundreds of people in Pakistan, UAE, EU, UK and USA. Being Francophone Alam also coordinates with a number of French publications.