The International Committee of the Red Cross delivered medical supplies to Sudan on Sunday amid fighting. Photo courtesy of the ICRC Sudan/Twitter
April 30 (UPI) -- Sudan received its first shipment of humanitarian aid -- including critical medical supplies -- since the start of fighting between rival military factions began earlier this month, the International Committee of the Red Cross said Sunday.
The delivery came as a 72-hour cease-fire between the breakaway paramilitary Rapid Support Forces and the Sudanese army crumbled Saturday.
The ICRC said it sent more than 8 tons of supplies to hospitals in the northeast African country and the Sudan Red Crescent Society. The shipment included anesthetics, wound dressings, sutures and other medical supplies.
"Healthcare workers in Sudan have been doing the impossible, caring for the wounded without water, electricity and basic medical supplies," said Patrick Youssef, the ICRC's regional director for Africa. "The logistics needed to bring in supplies amid an active conflict are extremely difficult, and we're relieved to get this medical material into the country."
The ICRC said it now must work to establish safe passage for the supplies to various medical facilities in Sudan as fighting creates unsafe conditions throughout the country.
Residents in the capital of Khartoum said they heard warplanes and heavy anti-aircraft fire over the city Sunday, the BBC reported.
Fighting began April 15 as a power struggle between Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the head of the armed forces, and his deputy, RSF head Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo. They've ruled over the country since a 2021 coup and now disagree over the future path of Sudan.
Before the outbreak of fighting earlier this month, the two military leaders worked together to overthrow former President Omar al-Bashir, who was sentenced to two years in prison on corruption charges in 2019.
Tens of thousands of people fled the country since the start of the fighting, including many foreign nationals. About 450 people have died since the start of the conflict.
Britain's Foreign Office said it has carried out the final flight evacuating its citizens from Wadi Saeedna, having airlifted 2,122 people on 23 flights to safety.
"The UK has now airlifted over 2,100 people to safety from Sunday, in what has been the largest and longest evacuation of any Western country," Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said in a Sunday statement.
An additional flight is scheduled to depart from Port Sudan Internationa Airport on Monday, amid a decline in demand for British nationals wishing to leave the African nation from Wadi Saeedna.
Cleverly called for a renewed cease-fire and a permanent agreement between the warring factions.
"We continue to do everything in our power to secure a long-term cease-fire, a stable transition to civilian rule and an end [to] the violence in Sudan," he said.
In Washington, State Department Spokesman Matthew Miller tweeted Sunday that a second convoy has arrived in Port Sudan to evacuate U.S. citizens to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Though it is only the United States' second organized convoy, nearly 1,000 Americans have been evacuated from the country since the start of the conflict.
It is unclear how many Americans are in the country, but Miller said fewer than 5,000 have sought guidance from the United States.
"Departure options for U.S. citizens have included seats on partner country flights, partner country and international organization convoys, U.S. government organized conveys and departure via sea as well," he said.
Former Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok warned Saturday that fighting could become worse than recent conflicts in Syria and Libya, creating a "nightmare for the world."
"This is not a war between an army and small rebellion," he said at a conference in Nairobi, Kenya. "It is almost like two armies -- well trained and well armed."