EU ambassador assaulted in Khartoum amid violent conflict in Sudan

Violent clashes in Sudan's capital of Khartoum renewed on Monday around the Sudanese army command, Khartoum International Airport, and the presidential palace, after a ceasefire for three hours on Sunday.

Dublin: EU’s ambassador in Sudan Aidan O’Hara has been assaulted at his home in Khartoum, which is gripped by deadly fighting between rival forces, Irish Foreign Minister Micheal Martin has said.

The Irish diplomat was not “seriously hurt”, Martin has confirmed, the BBC reported.

Martin described the attack as a “gross violation of obligations to protect diplomats”.

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Around 185 people have been killed and more than 1,800 injured in three days of fighting, according to the UN.

Sudan has been witnessing armed clashes between the Sudanese army and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) since April 15.

Violent clashes in Sudan’s capital of Khartoum renewed on Monday around the Sudanese army command, Khartoum International Airport, and the presidential palace, after a ceasefire for three hours on Sunday.

The Sudanese Army on Monday said that they had limited clashes with the RSF around the perimeter of the army’s General Command and the center of Khartoum, Xinhua news agency reported.

“The armed forces are in complete control of all their headquarters, and what is being circulated about the enemy’s seizure of the general command, the guesthouse, or the Republican palace is untrue,” the army said in a statement.

The army said that the Sudanese Air Force on Monday launched strikes against a number of hostile targets with the aim of ending pockets of the RSF in the capital.

The army further accused what it called “media mouthpieces” loyal to the RSF of spreading many lies to mislead public opinion.

Meanwhile, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, commander of the RSF, on Monday urged the international community to intervene to stop what he termed as “crimes of Sudanese army commander.”

“The international community must take action now and intervene against the crimes of Sudanese General Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, a radical Islamist who is bombing civilians from the air,” Dagalo said on his Twitter account on Monday.

“The army is waging a brutal campaign against the innocent, bombing them with missiles,” he added.

He also denied that his forces initiated the fighting with the Sudanese army. “We did not attack anyone. Our actions are merely a response to the siege and assault against our force,” he said.

Volker Perthes, special representative of the Secretary-General for Sudan and head of the United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS), Monday said he was “extremely disappointed” that the Humanitarian cessation of hostilities that both the Sudanese Armed Forces and the RSF had committed to, was only partially honored on Sunday.

“Perthes continues to urge all parties to respect their international obligations, including to ensure the protection of all civilians,” UNITAMS said in a statement.

He vowed to remain engaged with the Sudanese, regional and international partners to work for a cessation of hostilities.

The two sides traded accusations of initiating the conflict in the capital Khartoum and other places in Sudan.

The tension between the two military forces has escalated since Wednesday in the Merowe region in northern Sudan, after the RSF moved military vehicles to a location near the military air base there, a move that the army considered illegal.

Deep differences have emerged between the Sudanese army and the RSF, particularly regarding the latter’s integration into the army as stipulated in a framework agreement signed between military and civilian leaders on December 5, 2022.

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