As fighting in Sudan enters third month, death toll surpasses 2,000
The humanitarian situation continues to rapidly deteriorate.
Fighting in Sudan raged on into a third month Thursday as the reported death toll exceeded 2,000 and after a state governor was murdered in the remote Darfur region.
Sudan has plunged into chaos since the clashes erupted on April 15 between forces of rival generals -- General Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan's Sudanese Armed Forces and Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo's Rapid Support Forces (RSF).
'Our life has changed'
The fighting has driven 2.2 million people from their homes, including 528,000 who have fled to neighboring countries, as per the International Organization for Migration.
"In our worst expectations, we didn't see this war dragging on for this long," said Mohamad Al-Hassan Othman, one of more than a million civilians who have escaped heavy clashes in the capital Khartoum.
Everything in "our life has changed," he said as quoted by AFP. "We don't know whether we'll be back home or need to start a new life."
The death toll has surged above 2,000, as per the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project's latest figures, which cover fighting until June 9.
In the long-troubled West Darfur state, Governor Khamis Abdullah Abakar was killed just a few hours after he made remarks critical of the paramilitaries in a telephone interview with a Saudi TV channel.
The United Nations said "compelling eyewitness accounts attribute this act to Arab militias and the RSF," while the Darfur Lawyers Association denounced the act of "barbarism, brutality and cruelty."
Al-Burhan accused his paramilitary foes of the "treacherous attack". Simultaneously, the RSF denied responsibility and said it denounced Abakar's "assassination in cold blood."
Sudan analyst Kholood Khair of the Khartoum-based think tank Confluence Advisory said the "heinous assassination" was meant "to silence his highlighting of genocide... in Darfur".
'Every inch of Sudan is a disaster area'
UN aid chief Martin Griffiths, meanwhile, warned that the situation in Darfur was "rapidly spiraling into a humanitarian calamity."
"The world cannot allow this to happen. Not again," he said in a statement, describing the reality there as a "living nightmare".
US and Saudi mediation efforts are at a stalemate following the collapse of multiple fragile ceasefires in the face of flagrant violations by both parties.
On its part, the East African Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) has tried to restart talks, announcing this week that Kenya would chair a quartet including Ethiopia, Somalia, and South Sudan tasked with resolving the crisis.
In response, the foreign ministry, loyal to Al-Burhan, "objected to Kenya's chairmanship," alleging that Nairobi had "adopted the positions of the RSF militia, sheltered its people, and offered them various forms of support."
A record 25 million people -- more than half the population -- are in dire need of aid, according to the UN, which says it has received only a fraction of the required funding.
"We have nothing left," said another person living in the capital, Ahmed Taha, as quoted by AFP. "The entire country has been completely devastated... Every inch of Sudan is a disaster area."
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