US responds to Sudan situation as fighting stokes fears of civil war

Washington DC - US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday called for a ceasefire in separate conversations with the two Sudanese generals whose power struggle has resulted in the deaths of nearly 200 people in recent days.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken called for a ceasefire in separate talks with the two Sudanese generals whose power struggle has killed nearly 200 people.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken called for a ceasefire in separate talks with the two Sudanese generals whose power struggle has killed nearly 200 people.  © via REUTERS

Blinken spoke with Sudan's military leader and de facto president, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, and Mohammed Hamdan Daglo, the leader of a Sudanese paramilitary group, US State Department spokesperson Vedant Patel said in a statement.

On Tuesday morning, CNN reported that a 24-hour ceasefire had been agreed, but there was contradictory information coming from the two sides.

The conflict which has broken out in recent days follows a protracted power struggle between the army led by al-Burhan and the rival paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), led by his deputy Daglo.

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At least 185 people have been killed and 1,800 injured in the fighting, UN mediator Volker Perthes said on Monday.

In separate calls with the rivals, Blinken "underscored the urgency of reaching a ceasefire to permit the delivery of humanitarian assistance to those affected by the fighting, the reunification of Sudanese families, and allow the international community in Khartoum to make sure its presence is secure," Patel said.

Blinken, who is currently at G7 talks in Japan, also "stressed the responsibility of the two generals to ensure the safety and wellbeing of civilians, diplomatic personnel, and humanitarian workers," Patel said.

Fears over civil war in Sudan

Blinken, who is currently at G7 talks in Japan, urged both sides in the Sudan conflict to protect civilians and humanitarian workers.
Blinken, who is currently at G7 talks in Japan, urged both sides in the Sudan conflict to protect civilians and humanitarian workers.  © REUTERS

Daglo said he had a "vital conversation" with Blinken in which the two "discussed pressing issues in Sudan and our shared dedication to freedom, justice, and democracy for our people."

Heavy fighting began over the weekend, causing concern worldwide that the situation could lead to civil war.

Daglo, who has been accused of serious human rights abuses in the past, on Monday appealed for international support as he accused al-Burhan of being "a radical Islamist who is bombing civilians from the air."

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Al-Burhan has not spoken publicly since Saturday afternoon, when he accused the RSF of an attack and stressed that he had the situation under control.

In 2019, Daglo and al-Burhan overthrew the long-term dictator Omar al-Bashir after public civil protests. The two took power again in 2021 from a civilian government that had been installed in the meantime.

Cover photo: via REUTERS

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