The ceasefire in Sudan turns out to be fragile. Clashes continue, especially in Khartoum. The warriors now have a medical laboratory under their control. WHO is sounding the alarm.
Despite the extension of the already fragile ceasefire between the conflicting parties in Sudan, fighting continued in the northeastern African country. The ceasefire was brokered by the United States and Saudi Arabia, and was intended to allow the evacuation of foreigners from the war zone, as Atija Abdalla, head of the Sudanese Medical Association, Atija suspected.
The truce is broken again
It didn’t take long for military commander Abdel Fattah Burhan and the rival commander of the paramilitary group RSF, Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo, to be assured they would comply on Tuesday. The conflict between the army and the RSF has been intensifying since April 15.
Concerns rose on Wednesday, particularly over a medical laboratory in the capital Khartoum that fighters have taken under their control, according to the UN. Storing biological material in the laboratory is an “extremely dangerous” development. Nima Saeed Abid, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) representative in Sudan, said that “one of the warring parties” had taken control of the central laboratory in Khartoum and “ejected all the technicians”. He did not say which of the two sides of the conflict he blamed.
The lab’s containment of polio pathogens, measles pathogens and cholera pathogens, the WHO representative explained to attendees during a video call at a UN meeting in Geneva. “Occupation of the central health laboratory in Khartoum by one of the warring parties poses a great biological risk.”
WHO warns: lab is unmanageable
The WHO said relocation of laboratory personnel and power outages mean that it cannot properly manage biological materials stored in the laboratory for medical use. The laboratory is located in the center of the Sudanese capital, not far from the focal points of the conflict.
What if the truce is completely broken? ZDF reporter Luc Walpot describes the situation as follows:
The brutal death of a prominent Sudanese-American doctor also made a stir. Doctor Bushra Ibnauf Sulieman was Head of the University of Khartoum Faculty of Medicine. The Sudanese Medical Association said on Tuesday that he was stabbed in front of his home. He had worked for a long time in the USA, where his children lived, but returned to Sudan to train doctors. Colleagues said he has been treating people injured in the fighting for the past few days.
Unicef seeks help from Russia
Meanwhile, according to Russian sources, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) called for help to Moscow. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Unicef has asked for help to accommodate staff based in Khartoum. Unicef declined to comment on the process. By default, employee safety-related topics are not commented on.
Evacuations from Germany are now complete:
The UN refugee agency UNHCR has previously warned of further displacement due to the conflict. He said they were preparing for tens of thousands of people who might flee to neighboring countries. At the same time, the humanitarian situation threatened to worsen. In the country, where a third of its population, which is approaching 46 million, is already dependent on humanitarian aid, many aid organizations have stopped their work due to the dangerous situation.
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