Secretary of State Antony Blinken confirmed to reporters that a diplomatic convoy displaying diplomatic license plates and flags had been attacked with gunfire in Sudan on Tuesday, April 18. No one was harmed in what Blinken called a reckless, irresponsible, and unsafe attack.
This latest attack comes in the wake of two rival groups engaging in armed battles over several days in the country. The two leaders, Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan and Gen. Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo, former allies, are each in a quest for power within the region. The two leaders are responsible for an October 2021 military takeover that suspended a political deal in Sudan’s efforts to move toward democracy.
Blinken, who’s called for a ceasefire between the two factions, spoke to both Generals and made it clear threats or attacks on American diplomates were unacceptable, and the diplomatic attacks are under investigation. Suspicions fall on the leader of Rapid Support Forces (RSF), Gen. Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo being directly responsible for the attack.
Since the fighting began on Saturday, April 15, deaths in the fighting stand at more than 185 and more than 1,800 wounded. Humanitarian groups such as the International Rescue Committee and World Food Program have been forced to suspend their work until the fighting subsides.
Blinken said the Sudanese people would suffer even more with the aid of the World Food Program and again called for a ceasefire between the warring factions.
Several countries have economic interests in Sudan that are being threatened. Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates have called for negotiations to resume and for the fighting to cease.
American diplomats are also applying pressure on the two groups. The leaders of the Arab League The secretary-general of the United Nations, the foreign policy chief of the European Union, the American Secretary of State along with the leaders from the African Union Commission joined the Middle Eastern nations to end the conflict.