Khartoum fighting: EU alarm after ambassador 'assaulted' in home in Sudan

US convoy fired upon on same day as attack on European diplomat

Hundreds dead as Khartoum violence escalates

Hundreds dead as Khartoum violence escalates
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Top EU and US officials have expressed alarm after high-profile diplomats were attacked in Sudan amid clashes between rival generals that have killed almost 200 people.

On Monday, the EU's ambassador to Sudan was assaulted in his Khartoum home, according to senior European diplomat Josep Borrell.

And on the same day, a US diplomatic convoy was fired upon in Sudan — an attack described by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday as "reckless" and "irresponsible".

Aidan O'Hara was appointed ambassador to Sudan by the EU last year.

"This constitutes a gross violation of the Vienna Convention," Mr Borrell, the EU's foreign affairs and security policy chief, wrote on Twitter.

EU spokeswoman Nabila Massrali later told AFP the 58-year-old Irish diplomat was "OK".

The EU delegation has not been evacuated from Khartoum after the attack, she said.

Those inside the US convoy that was fired on were unharmed, Mr Blinken said.

"Yesterday we had an American diplomatic convoy that was fired on," he told reporters in Japan after G7 talks.

"All of our people are safe and unharmed. But this action was reckless, it was irresponsible and of course unsafe."

Tuesday marked the fourth day of what is effectively the latest in Sudan’s seemingly endless civil wars since independence in 1956.

Khartoum, a city of nearly seven million, has never witnessed violence of the magnitude seen since Saturday.

On Monday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres again called on Sudan's warring parties to "immediately cease hostilities".

He warned that further escalation "could be devastating for the country and the region".

Air strikes, artillery shelling and heavy gunfire are continuing in civilian neighbourhoods.

'End hostilities'

At the heart of the differences between army chief and military ruler Gen Abdel Fattah Al Burhan and commander of the powerful paramilitary Rapid Support Forces Gen Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo now is the RSF’s full integration into the armed forces, which Gen Al Burhan has recently taken to insisting on as a precondition for signing a deal to end Sudan’s political crisis.

G7 foreign ministers on Tuesday urged the warring forces in Sudan to "end hostilities immediately" and return to negotiations.

"We urge the parties to end hostilities immediately without pre-conditions," the ministers said in a statement issued after two days of talks in Japan.

"We call on all actors to renounce violence, return to negotiations, and take active steps to reduce tensions and ensure the safety of all civilians, including diplomatic and humanitarian personnel."

Gen Dagalo spoke with Mr Blinken on the phone and "discussed pressing issues".

"We will have another call to continuing dialogue and working hand-in-hand to forge a brighter future for our nations," Gen Dagalo said in a post on Twitter.

Gen Dagalo's whereabouts have not been disclosed since Saturday when fighting erupted between the RSF and Sudan's army, Reuters reported.

Mr Blinken spoke separately to Gen Al Burhan, according to the State Department.

Mr Blinken expressed his grave concern about the death and injury of so many Sudanese civilians due to the sustained, indiscriminate fighting, and stressed the responsibility of the two generals to ensure the safety and well-being of civilians, diplomatic personnel, and humanitarian workers, spokesperson Vedant Patel said in a statement.

The fighting is playing out in the wider context of months-long, internationally-sponsored efforts to end Sudan’s political crisis.

The deal’s blueprint provides for the military to quit politics, the RSF to be integrated into the armed forces and for a civilian prime minister to steer the country for two years until elections are held.

Updated: April 18, 2023, 11:13 AM