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Sudan: 9 killed in plane crash as conflict enters 100th day

Sudan: Nine killed in civilian plane crash as conflict surpasses 100 days
2 min read
The Sudanese military said the plane crash, which killed nine people, was caused by technical difficulties.
A child was among the survivors in the crash that killed nine people in Port Sudan [Getty]

A civilian plane crashed after taking off from an airport in eastern Sudan, killing nine people, including four military personnel who were aboard the aircraft, the military said, as the conflict in the northeastern African country reached the 100-day mark on Monday with no sign of abating.

The military said in a statement that a child survived late Sunday's crash in Port Sudan, a city on the Red Sea that so far has been spared from the devastating war between the military and the powerful paramilitary Rapid Support Forces.

The Antonov plane crashed shortly after taking off from the city’s airport, the military said. It blamed a technical failure for the crash. The statement provided no further details.

Sudan has plunged into chaos since mid-April when months-long tensions between the military and the RSF exploded into open fighting in the capital, Khartoum, and elsewhere across the country.

"It’s been 100 days of war in Sudan, with a devastating toll on lives and infrastructure, but worse lies ahead," said William Carter, Norwegian Refugee Council’s director in Sudan.

The fighting has turned Khartoum and other urban areas into battlefields. The sprawling region of Darfur saw some of the worst bouts of violence in the conflict with the fighting turning into ethnic clashes.

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The clashes have killed more than 3,000 people and wounded more than 6,000 others, Health Minister Haitham Mohammed Ibrahim said in televised comments last month. The casualty tally is likely much higher, according to doctors and activists.

More than 2.6 million people fled their homes to safer areas inside Sudan, while more than 757,000 people crossed into neighboring countries, according to the UN migration agency.

The conflict derailed Sudanese hopes of restoring the country’s fragile transition to democracy, which had begun after a popular uprising forced the military’s removal of longtime dictator Omar al-Bashir in April 2019. A coup, led by the military and RSF, disrupted the democratic transition in October 2021.

Carter, of the NRC, warned about a "total collapse" in the country as international efforts have so far failed to establish a cease-fire to allow humanitarian support to millions of people impacted by the war.

"The first 100 days drew attention, but it’s fading. We must sustain efforts and apply diplomacy and mediation to tangibly impact civilians in Sudan," he said.

Talks between the military and the RSF the Saudi Arabian coastal city of Jeddah repeatedly failed to stop the fighting. The Jeddah talks were brokered by Saudi Arabia and the United States.