Speaking to reporters at U.N. headquarters in New York, Guterres raised his appeal "for a ceasefire of at least three days, on the occasion of the Eid al-Fitr celebrations," which mark the end of Ramadan.
Guterres said it is necessary to "allow civilians trapped in conflict zones to escape and seek medical treatment, food and other essential supplies."
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 330 people have been killed so far and nearly 3 200 injured since fighting erupted on Saturday. Most of the clashes have been in the capital, Khartoum.
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April 20, 2023
"The lack of safe access, electricity, food, water, personnel and dwindling medical supplies are making it almost impossible for many health facilities to function at the exact moment when there are thousands of wounded in need of urgent care," WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, urging warring parties to respect the truce.
Al Jazeera news agency has reported that the leaders of the rival forces: the Sudanese armed forces and the paramilitary group Rapid Support Forces (RSF) have refused to negotiate with each other.
According to the Secretary General, the three-day ceasefire "must be the first step in providing a respite from the fighting and paving the way for a permanent ceasefire."
The cessation of hostilities must be followed by serious dialogue to enable a successful transition, starting with the appointment of a civilian government, Guterres said.
Calls for a cessation of violence and a return to dialogue have also come from the foreign ministers of the U.S., Saudi Arabia, and Qatar, the Turkish president, the head of Egyptian intelligence, and the leaders of South Sudan and Ethiopia.