UN alerts for risks of spill over from violence in Sudan

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UN Secretary-General António Guterres said on Wednesday that the UN is working closely with the African Union and the Inter governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) on ending the conflict in Sudan.

Fighting broke out on April 15 between Sudan's de facto leader Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, who commands the regular army, and his deputy turned rival Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, who heads the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF).

"All parties must put the interests of the Sudanese people first, and that means peace returns to civilian rule allowing for the development of the country. We are putting these goals front and centre as we engage with the parties of the conflict and work with hand in hand with the African Union, and Inter Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD)", said António Guterres, UN Secretary-General.

The conflict in Sudan has sparked a massive exodus of more than 100 thousand refugees that have fled to neighbouring countries.

"It is absolutely essential to massively support Chad in the present situation. On the other hand, we have other countries in the region that are in their own peace processes. Ethiopia is in a peace process. It is absolutely essential to avoid any spill-over from Sudan to Ethiopia", alerted the UN official.

Speaking during a press conference held in Nairobi, Guterres admitted that "the UN was taken by surprise" by the conflict, adding "to the extent that we and many others were not expecting this to happen, we can say we failed to avoid it to happen". 

The fighting in Sudan has killed at least 550 people.

The warring sides have announced multiple truces but none has effectively taken hold.

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