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Thousands flee as fighting spreads to southern Sudan

More than 5 million people in Sudan have been displaced due to the six-month war between national army forces and the RSF. (Photo via Reuters)

The ongoing war in Sudan has spread to the country's south, reportedly forcing thousands to flee following a series of attacks by the Rapid Support Forces (RSF). 

According to local residents, RSF fighters launched an attack on the town of Wad Ashana, situated on the border between North Kordofan and White Nile states, using numerous armed vehicles.

"It was hours of terror," said a witness who had sheltered with relatives after fleeing ten kilometers away from his hometown.

Accurate casualty figures from the Wad Ashana conflict are currently unavailable as witnesses spoke of unidentified "bodies lying on the side of the road".

Footage posted to social media on Sunday by the RSF claimed to show fighters "taking over the Wad Ashana garrison in North Kordofan and advancing towards Kosti," the last major town on the road to South Sudan.

Nearly 7,500 people have been killed in the war that erupted on April 15, according to a conservative estimate from the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project.

Other towns in the country have also reported similar scenes with volunteers digging mass graves.

Activists and doctors on the ground have warned that the actual death toll is substantially higher than official figures indicate.

According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), over 4.3 million people have been internally displaced leaving behind everything while living in schools due to the surge in violence.

Another 1.2 million refugees, returnees, and third-country nationals have already left Sudan for Chad, Egypt, Ethiopia, South Sudan, and Central African Republic.

Last month, the UN warned that millions of people across Sudan are running out of food and are on the brink of famine as the war-torn Northeast African country is spiraling out of control.

Sudan's army and the RSF have been fighting for six months over a power struggle between army chief, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, and his former deputy, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, who heads the paramilitary force.

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