The UN Security Council called Friday for an immediate cease-fire in Sudan to be followed by a permanent halt to hostilities and fresh efforts to reach a lasting democratic political settlement in the conflict-wracked country.

Iran PressAmerica: The UN's most powerful body strongly condemned all attacks on civilians since fighting between rival generals vying for power broke out in mid-April.

The conflict has led to hundreds of civilian deaths and the flight of almost one million people from their homes to try to escape the violence, according to the UN

The press statement from the council was issued ahead of a vote later Friday to extend the UN political mission in the country for six months, instead of a year, to give the council time to consider its future.

On Wednesday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres asked to brief the council behind closed doors for only the fifth time since he took office in January 2017 about the impact of the ongoing conflict on the UN mission known as UNITAMS. It was established by the council on June 3, 2020, to provide support to Sudan during its political transition to democratic rule.

After his briefing, the UN chief told the 15 council members it's up to them to decide whether to continue the political mission to Sudan or whether "it's time to end it."

After the ouster of Sudanese strongman Omar al-Bashir in 2019, Sudan embarked on a shaky democratic transition led by civilian and army leaders. But the generals seized complete power in a coup in October 2021, before turning against each other.