Urging for an immediate cease-fire, United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken has spoken to leaders of rival armed forces in Sudan, the State Department said Tuesday.
Blinken, “expressed his grave concern about the death and injury of so many Sudanese civilians due to the sustained, indiscriminate fighting,” State Department spokesman Vedant Patel said.
A cease-fire would “permit the delivery of humanitarian assistance to those affected by the fighting, the reunification of Sudanese families, and allow the international community in Khartoum to make sure its presence is secure,” Patel said in a statement.
Fierce clashes erupted over the weekend between forces loyal to Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the head of Sudan’s transitional governing Sovereign Council, and paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) head Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, known as Hemedti, who is deputy head of the council.
He did not say whether he would stick to a possible cease-fire.
Al-Burhan has not spoken publicly since Saturday afternoon, when he accused the RSF of an attack and stressed that he had the situation under control.
At least 185 people have been killed and more than 1,800 injured.
When he spoke to the two men, Blinken “stressed the responsibility of the two generals to ensure the safety and wellbeing of civilians, diplomatic personnel, and humanitarian workers,” Patel said
Following Blinken’s call, Hemedti wrote on Twitter that he “reaffirmed our unwavering commitment to safeguarding innocent civilians in our areas of control.”