According to the United Nations, the situation in Sudan is threatening to spiral out of control one year after the start of the civil war: there have already been at least 16,000 deaths, 33,000 injuries and around nine million people displaced by the fighting.

The World Health Organization (WHO) warns of a famine in Sudan. More than a third of the people in the capital Khartoum and in the Darfur region are already in an acute hunger situation. The number of children under five years of age, pregnant and breastfeeding mothers suffering from acute malnutrition increased from 3.9 million at the beginning of 2023 to 4.9 million in 2024.

Since mid-April 2023, a bloody power struggle has been raging in Sudan between de facto head of state Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and his former deputy and leader of the Sudanese militia RSF, Mohamed Hamdan Daglo.

Call for peace negotiations

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, spoke to the two men separately on the phone for the first time since 2022, his office reported on Friday. He called on them to begin peace negotiations, not to hinder humanitarian aid in the country and to prevent atrocities committed by their fighters. Both agreed that international humanitarian law must be adhered to, said Türk’s spokeswoman. She did not want to share details about the two’s further reactions. Concrete proposals for new peace negotiations or a meeting between the two men were not discussed.

Türk was appalled by the recent escalation of fighting between the two sides in El Fasher, the capital of North Darfur. There are 1.8 million residents and displaced people sitting between the fronts and hardly have any food left.