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US secretary of state calls for end to violence in Sudan

April 15, 2023 at 6:32 pm

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken [Uzbek Presidency/Anadolu Agency]

The US secretary of state on Saturday called on “all actors” in Sudan to stop violence and avoid further escalations, Anadolu reports.

“Deeply concerned about reports of escalating violence between the Sudanese Armed Forces and Rapid Support Forces. We are in touch with the Embassy team in Khartoum – all are currently accounted for,” Antony Blinken said on Twitter.

“We urge all actors to stop the violence immediately and avoid further escalations or troop mobilizations and continue talks to resolve outstanding issues,” he added.

Fighting broke out early Saturday between the Sudanese army and RSF fighters in Khartoum, with gunfire and bombs heard near the army headquarters and presidential palace, according to an Anadolu reporter in Khartoum.

While the RSF accused the army of attacking its forces south of Khartoum with light and heavy weapons, the military said the paramilitary force was “spreading lies” and declared it a “rebel” group.

READ: US urges Sudan’s military leaders to stop fighting amid unrest

The dispute between the two sides came to the surface on Thursday when the army said recent movements by the RSF had happened without coordination and were illegal, with their rift centering around a proposed transition to civilian rule.

Sudan has been without a functioning government since October 2021 when the military dismissed Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok’s transitional government and declared a state of emergency.

Last December, Sudan’s military and political forces signed a framework agreement to resolve the months-long crisis.

The signing of the final agreement was scheduled to take place on April 6, but was delayed. No date has been announced for the signing of the deal.

Sudan’s transitional period which started in August 2019 was scheduled to end with elections in early 2024.

READ: UK ‘closely monitoring’ situation in Sudan amid clashes