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AU appeals for help for civilians fleeing conflict in Sudan

AU appeals for help for civilians fleeing conflict in Sudan
People evacuated from Sudan arrive at Baghdad International Airport on April ...   -  
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AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP or licensors


The African Union (AU) on Thursday called on Sudan's neighbors and the international community to help people fleeing deadly fighting in the country, again calling for a ceasefire.

AU Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat "continues to follow with growing concern the plight of civilians caught in the deadly conflict in Sudan," his office said in a statement.

"The chairperson renews the call on Sudan's neighboring countries, relevant regional and global agencies to facilitate the transit and safety of civilians crossing their borders unhindered," the same source said.

Mr. Faki reiterated his call on the Sudanese army and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) paramilitaries to "immediately agree on a permanent ceasefire to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance to Sudanese in need.

Multiple attempts at a truce since the fighting began on April 15 have all failed.

A few hours before the expiry of a three-day ceasefire at midnight (22:00 GMT), which has hardly been respected, the army announced on Thursday evening that it would "extend the ceasefire for another 72 hours", "following an initiative by Saudi Arabia and the United States".

The paramilitaries have not yet commented on this announcement.

The fighting has caused a massive exodus in this country of 45 million people, one of the poorest in the world.

Tens of thousands of people have already arrived in neighbouring countries: Chad in the west, Ethiopia in the east, South Sudan and the Central African Republic in the south and Egypt in the north.

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