Bodies of people in military uniforms litter the streets of Omdourman, on the outskirts of the Sudanese capital, witnesses reported on Thursday, as the UN warned of intensifying fighting in the Darfur region in the seventh month of the war between the army and paramilitaries.
Clashes continue in Khartoum and its suburbs as well as in Darfur, in the west of the country, while a new round of negotiations sponsored by Saudi Arabia and the United States ended this week without reaching an agreement on a ceasefire.
"Bodies of people in military uniform lie in the streets of the city centre after yesterday's (Wednesday) fighting," witnesses in Ummdourman told AFP, phoning from Wad Madani, south of Khartoum.
Others reported that a shell had fallen on the AlNau hospital north of Omdourman, the last operational medical facility in the region, killing a "health worker".
The UN also expressed concern about the humanitarian situation in Darfur.
"Hundreds of thousands of civilians and displaced people are now in grave danger in El-Facher, the capital of North Darfur, due to a rapidly deteriorating security situation (and) a lack of food and water," Toby Harward, the UN's deputy humanitarian coordinator for Darfur, wrote on X (formerly Twitter).
"The Rapid Support Forces (RSF, paramilitaries) and the Sudanese army are fighting for control of the town, and this will have a catastrophic impact on civilians", he added.
For its part, the US embassy expressed its "deep concern at reports of serious human rights violations committed by the RSF" in Darfur. It reported "in particular killings in the Ardmata region, in the state of West Darfur" and expressed concern that leaders and members of the Massalit, one of the largest non-Arab ethnic minorities in West Darfur, were being "targeted".
On Monday, the Sovereignty Council, the country's highest authority, announced the death of "a pillar of the civil administration in West Darfur (...), assassinated" by the RSF who "attacked houses in the Ardmata region".
"His son and eight of his grandchildren were also killed", added the body, which is chaired by the head of the army, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhane.
Launched on 15 April, the war between the army and General Mohamed Hamdane Daglo's FSR has claimed more than 9,000 lives, according to an estimate by the NGO Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (Acled), which is considered to be greatly underestimated.
It has also displaced more than 6 million people and destroyed most of the country's infrastructure.
The UN sounded the alarm on Thursday over the growing influx of people fleeing the fighting in South Sudan, both Sudanese refugees and South Sudanese returning home."The number of people arriving in South Sudan increased by at least 50% in October compared to September", said Stéphane Dujarric, spokesman for the UN Secretary-General, in New York, adding that 366,000 men, women and children had crossed the border into South Sudan since 15 April.
"As the conflict approaches the south (of Sudan), this could lead to even more displacement," he warned.