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Foreign ministers of the G7 countries called on Sudan’s warring parties to immediately lay down their arms and engage in dialogue saying it threatens efforts to restore Sudan’s democratic transition.

The ministers said in a statement that the fighting between Sudan’s military and the country’s main paramilitary force “threatens the security and safety of Sudanese civilians and undermines efforts to restore Sudan’s democratic transition.

Heavy fighting continued overnight and into Tuesday morning in the capital Khartoum. Hospitals and residential areas were shelled on Monday, and the number of victims has risen to nearly 200.

“We urge the parties to end hostilities immediately without pre-conditions. We call on all actors to renounce violence, return to negotiations, and take active steps to reduce tensions and ensure the safety of all civilians, including diplomatic and humanitarian personnel,” the ministers’ statement said.

The G7 includes the United States, Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Canada and Japan, which holds the rotating chair.

The U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken called for a ceasefire in separate conversations with the two Sudanese generals whose power struggle is at the centre of the fighting.

U.S. State Department spokesperson Vedant Patel reported that Blinken spoke with military leader and de facto president, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, and Mohammed Hamdan Daglo, the leader of the RSF paramilitary group.

In calls with the rivals, Blinken “underscored the urgency of reaching a ceasefire to permit the delivery of humanitarian assistance to those affected by the fighting, the reunification of Sudanese families, and allow the international community in Khartoum to make sure its presence is secure,” Patel said.

The United Nations estimated that at least 185 people have been killed and 1,800 injured so far in the power struggle.

The UN special representative for Sudan, Volker Perthes, told German radio on Tuesday that the UN needed to use even the “smallest chance” for peace in Sudan.

The current task is “to get both sides to de-escalate,” Perthes told Deutschlandfunk radio.

In the past two days, three-hour humanitarian ceasefires had already been negotiated, however, these were quickly broken contrary to the promises of the rival generals, he said.

“The majority of the Sudanese people are certainly ready for a peaceful future,” Perthes said.

He argued for the neighbouring countries of Egypt and South Sudan to take a leading role in mediating a return to peace. (dpa/NAN)

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