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US diplomatic convoy under fire in Sudan amid deadly fighting

A US diplomatic convoy was fired upon in Sudan on Monday, as deadly fighting between the army and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) continues. According to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the attack was “reckless, irresponsible, and unsafe”. This incident occurred as the conflict in Sudan has led to around 185 deaths and 1,800 injuries in the past three days, with hospitals and clinics also being shelled.

In another incident, the EU’s ambassador in Sudan, Aidan O’Hara, was assaulted at his home in Khartoum, but he was not seriously hurt. Irish Foreign Minister Micheál Martin described this attack as a “gross violation of obligations to protect diplomats.” Despite ongoing security concerns, there are currently no plans to evacuate US personnel from Sudan.

Hemedti, the commander of the RSF, has urged the international community to intervene in the conflict and accused the de facto leader, Gen Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, of bombing civilians from the air. Gen Burhan, on the other hand, has ordered the dissolution of the Rapid Support Forces(#RSF), labeling them a rebellious group. On the plus side, Burhan has expressed his willingness to negotiate. The two sides held a brief ceasefire on Sunday to allow the wounded to be evacuated, although it was not clear how strictly they had stuck to it.

Meanwhile, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development(IGAD) will send leaders to Sudan to try to broker peace. Kenyan President William Ruto, South Sudanese President Salva Kiir, and Djibouti’s President Omar Guelleh will visit the country to engage in back-channel diplomacy with the conflicting parties. Similarly, African Union Chair, Moussa Faki is expected to visit Sudan with the same goal. They aim to cease hostilities, stop the fighting, and return to the negotiating table. This is a positive development, as both sides have agreed to mediation, according to Nuur Mohamud Sheekh, the executive secretary of IGAD.

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