Sudan's foreign ministry said it had informed the United Nations that its envoy to the country, Volker Peretz, was persona non grata. This comes as fighting between the army and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) escalated as fires continued to break out at an oil and gas facility following an attack on the Yarmouk defense complex south of Khartoum. Amid fears of a widening conflict after residents told Reuters of rebel build-ups in South Kordofan state.

Peretz held two meetings in Addis Ababa with the United Nations representative to the African Union and the representative of IGAD in Sudan, addressing a group of diplomats at the British embassy in Addis Ababa.

The head of Sudan's sovereign council, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, has previously asked UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to replace his representative in the country. Earlier, Sudanese demonstrators demonstrated outside the headquarters of the Peretz-led mission.

Escalating battles and fears

Meanwhile, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Sudan reported on Thursday that heavy weapons battles are taking place between the army and the Rapid Support in the industrial zone of Khartoum and Al-Ghaba Street, while fires at an oil and gas facility continue to break out for the second day in a row following an attack on the Yarmouk defense complex south of the capital.

Meanwhile, the house of Hedi Idris, a member of the Sovereignty Council and head of the Revolutionary Front, in the Khartoum North suburb of Kafouri was subjected to aerial bombardment from an army aircraft, destroying parts of the house, according to the spokesman for the Revolutionary Front.

In western Sudan, Bukhari Ahmed Abdullah, deputy head of the Sudanese coalition governing West Darfur state, said the death toll in recent weeks in the city of El Geneina reached 850 dead, in addition to two thousand wounded. The fighting also burned hundreds of homes and markets.

The deputy head of the Sudanese coalition revealed that what he called the militias destroyed all resources, looted markets, dried up water resources, and cut off the communications network.

Reuters quoted residents of South Kordofan state as saying a large rebel force from the so-called Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N), led by Abdul Aziz al-Hilu, mobilized its forces yesterday, raising fears of the conflict spreading to the south of the country.

Residents told the agency it was not yet clear what position Helou might take in the April 15 conflict in Khartoum between the army and the RSF, but his buildup had raised fears of clashes.

According to residents, SPLM-N forces entered several army camps around Kadugli (the capital of South Kordofan), prompting the army to reinforce its positions, and reported that the RSF blocked the road between Kadugli and El Obeid to the north, depriving the city of supplies.

In the past few months, there have been clashes between the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF).

"Positive" signs

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan said there were positive signs in the talks on developments in Sudan. The Saudi minister called on the parties in this country to abide by the agreement and the ceasefire.

In a parallel context, Kuwait condemned the storming and sabotage of the buildings of the embassies of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Palestine, China and Oman in the Sudanese capital.

For its part, the General Secretariat of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation expressed its strong condemnation of the attack on the Saudi embassy in Khartoum.

Riyadh announced on Wednesday that its embassy building in Sudan and its attachés were subjected to sabotage by some armed groups, stressing its complete rejection of all forms of "violence and vandalism" towards diplomatic missions and representations.