Friday, April 21, 2023

Sudan, over 600 dead includig 4 UN workers and one US citizen and 3,500 injured in clashes. The US prepares troops in Djibouti for possible evacuation of embassy staff + 16000 US citizens from Sudan #Sudan

More than 600 have died in the fighting in Sudan between the regular army and the paramilitaries of the Rapid Support Forces that has been going on since 15 April. This was reported by the Minister of Health of Khartoum, Ibrahim Haizam, according to whom “a large number” of corpses are found in the streets which were not taken away due to the intensity of the clashes. With the risk, he warned, of epidemics, while a third of the capital’s hospitals are not operational.

The World Health Organization (WHO) also speaks of at least 3,551 people injured in the clashes.

Bombings were reported in several areas of Khartoum after the ceasefire began at 6 this morning. Numerous reports of violence after the entry into force of the ceasefire announced by the paramilitary rapid support forces of Sudan (RSF), which had announced a 72-hour truce for humanitarian reasons.

“The truce coincides with the blessed Eid Al-Fitr to open humanitarian corridors to evacuate citizens and give them the opportunity to say goodbye to their families,” the RSF wrote in a statement which was not followed by immediate comments from the Sudanese Army.

Both the Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, and the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, had separately called for a ceasefire of “at least” three days to celebrate Eid al-Fitr in the Muslim majority country. Sudan’s Central Committee of Doctors said in a statement: “On the night of Eid al-Fitr, several areas of Khartoum were shelled and are still exposed to shelling and clashes between the armed forces and the RSF.

Among the victims there is also an American citizen, as confirmed by the State Department. The Pentagon has announced the repositioning of troops in Djibouti in view of a possible evacuation mission of the US embassy in Khartoum. “We can confirm the death of an American citizen in Sudan, we are in contact with the family to whom we offer our deepest condolences,” said a State Department spokesman, who did not provide further details or the identity of the victim who did not worked in the US embassy.

The The US Department of Defense has begun pre-positioning troops in case an emergency evacuation is needed of diplomatic personnel and other Americans from Sudan, said John Kirby, spokesman for the National Security Council, quoted by the Washington Post. President Biden decided earlier this week, after a US convoy in Khartoum was targeted and two ceasefire attempts failed, to move forces and equipment to a “nearby” base in Djibouti. “No decision has yet been made on the evacuation,” Kirby said, adding that American officials in Sudan “are sheltering in their homes or workplaces even as the State Department is trying to gather personnel in a central location of Khartoum”.

An operator of the International Organization for Migration also lost his life in the clashes. This was confirmed by the director of the same UN agency, according to which the man, who was traveling in a car with his family south of El Obeid, ended up in the crossfire between the two sides.

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