Fighting continues in Sudan, EU ambassador attacked at home

Street fighting and shelling are increasing in intensity in Khartoum. Since Saturday, according to the UN, more than 185 people have been killed and at least 1,800 injured in Sudan where two generals clash for control of power.

In the sky of the capital, the planes of the army of General Abdel Fattah al-Burhane, de facto leader of the country since the putsch of 2021, try to overcome the fire from the armored personnel of the paramilitaries of the Rapid Support Forces (FSR ) of General Mohamed Hamdane Daglo, known as “Hemedti”, his second in charge of the coup d’etat who has become his sworn enemy since Saturday. At least two hospitals in the capital have been evacuated “while rockets and bullets riddled their walls”, announced doctors who say they have no more blood bags or equipment to treat the wounded.

The EU delegation still on site

Monday evening, the European Union announced that its ambassador had been “assaulted in his residence” in Khartoum. Denouncing “a flagrant violation” of the Vienna Convention, the head of European diplomacy Josep Borrell recalled that the Sudanese authorities had the responsibility to ensure the security of diplomatic installations and diplomats present in their country.

The EU ambassador, Irish Aidan O’Hara, is “OK”, said Nabila Massrali, spokesperson for the EU diplomatic service, adding that the EU delegation had not been evacuated. “The safety of our staff is our priority,” she stressed. Irish Foreign Minister Micheal Martin, for his part, declared that the ambassador was “not seriously injured”.

The UN for its part called on the two generals to “immediately cease hostilities” because they could be “devastating for the country and the entire region”. However, the United Nations envoy to Sudan, Volker Perthes, said he was not optimistic about a rapid return to dialogue while “it is difficult to assess in which direction the balance is changing”.

The diplomats are busy

On Monday, diplomatic contacts appeared to intensify. At the end of the day, Egypt, a large influential neighbor, announced that it had discussed the situation with Saudi Arabia, South Sudan and Djibouti, three other important players in Sudan, as well as with Paris. Qatar, for its part, spoke with the President of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, who is supposed to go to the country as soon as possible, over which no planes fly.

It was still impossible on Monday to know which force controls what. The FSR announced that they took the airport and entered the presidential palace, which the army denied. On the other hand, it ensures that it holds the HQ of its staff, one of the main power complexes in Khartoum. As for state television, after two days of fighting in its vicinity, it now broadcasts images and press releases from the army, which claims to have regained ground in many places.

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