UNICEF confirms the need for humanitarian assistance for 13.6 million children in the country

New truce and ongoing battles in Sudan

25 million of the 45 million Sudanese are in need of humanitarian aid, according to the United Nations. Reuters

Battles continued in Sudan, yesterday, despite the extension of the truce, the day before yesterday, a truce that was never adhered to, in an attempt to transfer vital humanitarian aid to this country, which is on the verge of famine, while the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) confirmed the need for 13.6 million children in Sudan for humanitarian assistance.

A resident of the capital reported "clashes with various types of weapons in southern Khartoum."

Since May 22, Saudi and U.S. mediators have been praising the ceasefire, which has remained a dead letter. On the ground, the aerial and artillery bombardment did not stop and the movements of armored vehicles continued.

The war, which has killed more than 1800,<> people, according to the American NGO ACLID, and more than a million and a half displaced people and refugees, according to the United Nations, continues to claim victims and force more families from their homes.

Citizens confirmed yesterday the continuation of battles in Khartoum and in Nyala in the Darfur region in western Sudan, which has already witnessed a bloody civil war in the first decade of the current century.

Rashid Abdi, an analyst specializing in the Horn of Africa, wrote on his Twitter account yesterday: "There is no ceasefire in Sudan," referring to the continued fighting.

"There is a deep gap between the reality on the ground in Sudan and diplomacy in Jeddah."

The army, led by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), led by Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, have accused each other of violating the truce, and each side says it is responding to opponent attacks.

For a month, each side has been agreeing to proposals by Washington and Riyadh to extend the truce, which is aimed at allowing civilians to flee combat zones and opening safe corridors for humanitarian aid.

Before the war, Sudan was one of the poorest countries in the world, with one in three people suffering from hunger, electricity cut off for long periods every day, and the health system on the verge of collapse.

Today, seven weeks into the war, 25 million of the 45 million Sudanese need humanitarian assistance to continue, according to the United Nations.

UNICEF said 13.6 million children are in urgent need of life-saving humanitarian support. Of these, "620,<> children are acutely malnourished," according to the UN agency.

The U.N. World Food Programme said 17,2 metric tons of food had been looted since the conflict began. WFP predicts that up to 5.<> million people in Sudan will descend into hunger in the coming months.

The WFP said on Monday that it had started distributing food in areas of the capital for the first time since fighting broke out.

Running water no longer reaches some areas of Khartoum, electricity is available only a few hours a week, and three-quarters of hospitals are out of service.

Hospitals that continue to operate have few medical supplies and medicines, and are forced to buy fuel to run generators at 20 times their original price.

Since the outbreak of war on April 15, humanitarian organizations have been demanding security conditions to allow them to reach Khartoum and Darfur to supply their warehouses looted or destroyed by the fighting.

But so far these organizations have been able to deliver only a very small amount of medicine and food, as their staff are unable to move because of the fighting, while aid shipments that have arrived by air are still stuck with customs.

Some parts of Darfur are completely cut off from the world without electricity, internet or telephone, and Sudanese activists say they fear the worst.

While Washington and Riyadh welcomed the extension of the truce for another five days, Sudanese now fear on the ground an "all-out civil war," according to the Alliance of Freedom and Change Forces, the country's civil bloc.

The coalition issued a warning after calls by both sides calling on civilians to arm.

Darfur, where the army, the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), tribal fighters and armed civilians are taking part in the fighting, was again raised when the region's governor, Minni Minawi, a former rebel faction leader now allied with the army, called on all citizens to arm themselves to "protect property".