US evacuates diplomats from Sudan and closes embassy

Khartoum, Sudan - The United States has completed the evacuation of its embassy in Sudan, amid heavy fighting between rival military groups, the US State Department confirmed.

The United States has evacuated its embassy in Khartoum, Sudan.
The United States has evacuated its embassy in Khartoum, Sudan.  © ASHRAF SHAZLY / AFP

All of the embassy's personnel and their families had safely left Khartoum, the department said.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said operations at the embassy had been temporarily suspended.

"Suspending operations at one of our embassies is always a difficult decision, but the safety of our personnel is my first responsibility."

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Blinken referred to "serious and growing security risks" in the conflict between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces.

Sudan's de facto president and commander-in-chief of the army, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, on Saturday said he had agreed to facilitate the evacuation of foreign civilians and diplomats from the embattled country.

US calls for ceasefire in Sudan

Smoke rises over buildings a week after fighting began in Khartoum, Sudan.
Smoke rises over buildings a week after fighting began in Khartoum, Sudan.  © REUTERS

Fighting broke out in Sudan about a week ago between the north-eastern African country's two most powerful generals and their respective military units.

According to the World Health Organization, at least 413 people have been killed and more than 3,500 have been injured since the fighting began.

Blinken said the US would continue to help Americans in Sudan plan for their own safety.

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China China slaps more sanctions on US defense companies as Taiwan tensions grow

"I reiterate my call to both sides to urgently extend and expand the Eid al-Fitr ceasefire to a sustainable cessation of hostilities to prevent further damage to the Sudanese nation."

US President Joe Biden also called for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire.

"This tragic violence in Sudan has already cost the lives of hundreds of innocent civilians. It’s unconscionable and it must stop."

Biden said while the embassy was suspended, "our commitment to the Sudanese people and the future they want for themselves is unending."

Cover photo: ASHRAF SHAZLY / AFP

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