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April 18, 2023 8:39 am

US Diplomatic Convoy Fired on in Sudan, Prompting Warning from Blinken

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avatar by Reuters and Algemeiner Staff

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks during a news conference at the conclusion of a G7 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting at The Prince Karuizawa hotel in Karuizawa, Japan, Tuesday, April 18, 2023. Photo: Andrew Harnik/Pool via REUTERS

A US diplomatic convoy came under fire on Monday in Sudan in an apparent attack by fighters associated with Sudan‘s paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Tuesday, in an incident he described as “reckless” and “irresponsible”.

The incident prompted a direct warning from Blinken, who separately telephoned RSF leader General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, known as Hemedti, and Sudan‘s army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, to tell them that any danger posed to American diplomats was unacceptable.

“I can confirm that yesterday we had an American diplomatic convoy that was fired on,” Blinken said at a news conference in the Japanese resort town of Karuizawa where he attended a meeting of the Group of Seven foreign ministers.

“I made very clear that any attacks threats, dangerous posed to our diplomats were totally unacceptable.”

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The people in the diplomatic convoy were safe, he said.

“We have deep concerns of course about the overall security environment as it affects civilians, as it affects diplomats, as it affects aid workers,” he said.

The United States was in close coordination other countries that have influence in Sudan, including the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Britain, he said, as well as the African Union and other international organisations.

Fighting in Sudan has killed at least 185 people and injured more than 1,800 others as both sides claimed gains in a conflict that has seen the use of air strikes and artillery.

Clashes have continued despite numerous calls from the United States and other countries for a halt to fighting as well as efforts by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates to get the rivals to agree to a ceasefire.

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