The United Nations’ World Food Program ceased operations in Sudan this weekend after three aid workers were killed during violent clashes between the country’s army and a powerful paramilitary group.
Volker Perthes, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sudan, reiterated on Sunday that international aid workers are “not a target,” condemning the slaying of three World Food Program employees in Kabkabiya, North Darfur. Two other staff workers were seriously injured.
“I also am extremely appalled by reports of projectiles hitting UN and other humanitarian premises, as well as reports of looting of UN and other humanitarian premises in several locations in Darfur,” Perthes said. “These recurring acts of violence disrupt the delivery of life-saving assistance and must end.”
Sudanese greet army soldiers, loyal to army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, in the Red Sea city of Port Sudan on April 16, 2023. (AFP via Getty Images)
People run past a military vehicle in Khartoum, Sudan, on April 15, 2023, amid clashes in the city. (AFP via Getty Images)
A military vehicle and soldiers said to be from the Sudanese armed forces are seen on a street in Khartoum, Sudan, April 15, 2023. (Bakri Jad/via REUTERS)
A soldier purported to belong to the Sudanese army crouches down behind a flight of steps, firing a weapon in Khartoum, Sudan, April 15, 2023. (Bakri Jad/via REUTERS)
Fighting broke out across Sudan on Saturday after months of rising tensions between the Sudanese armed forces, led by Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan, and the Rapid Support Forces, a paramilitary group led by Gen. Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo. The two leaders are former allies who orchestrated a military coup in 2021 that removed a Western-backed administration.
At least 61 civilians have been killed and hundreds of others wounded over the past 48 hours, according to the Sudan Doctors’ Syndicate.
TUNISIA SAYS MORE THAN 2 DOZEN MIGRANTS DIED OFF COAST WHILE HEADING TO ITALY
The U.S. Embassy in Sudan sent out a shelter-in-place notice on Saturday for staff in the capital of Khartoum, which is home to over five million people. Other American citizens are also encouraged to seek shelter.
“I just arrived late last night in Khartoum and woke up to the deeply disturbing sounds of gunfire and fighting. I am currently sheltering in place with the Embassy team, as Sudanese throughout Khartoum and elsewhere are doing,” U.S. Ambassador to Sudan John Godfrey said on Saturday.
Smoke rises as clashes continue in the Sudanese capital on April 16, 2023, between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces. (Mahmoud Hjaj/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Satellite image shows burning IL-76 candid airplanes at Khartoum International Airport in Khartoum, Sudan April 16, 2023, in this handout image. (Maxar Technologies/Handout via REUTERS)
Smokes rise after clashes erupted in the Sudanese capital on April 15, 2023. (Stringer/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
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Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with the foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, two regional powers located just across the Red Sea in the Middle East.
“We agreed it was essential for the parties to immediately end hostilities without pre-condition,” Blinken said in a statement.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Paul Best is a breaking news reporter for Fox News Digital and Fox Business. Story tips and ideas can be sent to Paul.Best@fox.com and on Twitter: @KincaidBest.