Sudan fighting: EU ambassador assaulted in Khartoum homeon April 17, 2023 at 10:42 pm

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The envoy is said to be okay after the attack at his home as deadly fighting grips Khartoum.

Aidan O'Hara speaks in SudanImage source, Facebook/European Union in Sudan

The 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.

The Irish diplomat was not “seriously hurt”, Irish Foreign Minister Micheál Martin has confirmed.

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

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

The city has seen air strikes, shelling and heavy small-arms fire.

Both the army and a paramilitary group called the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) claim to control key sites in Khartoum, where residents have been sheltering from explosions.

Mr Martin described the ambassador as an “outstanding Irish and European diplomat who is serving the EU under the most difficult circumstances”.

“We thank him for his service and call for an urgent cessation of violence in Sudan, and resumption of dialogue,” he said.

Earlier, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell tweeted that the security of diplomatic premises and staff was a “primary responsibility” of the Sudanese authorities.

EU spokeswoman Nabila Massrali told AFP news agency the EU delegation had not been evacuated from Khartoum following the attack. Staff security was the priority and security measures were being assessed, she added.

Sudan: The basics

  • Sudan is in north-east Africa and has a history of instability: It fell under military rule in 2019, when long-time leader Omar al-Bashir was toppled
  • Since then, two men have been in charge: The head of the army and his deputy, who is also the head of a paramilitary group called the RSF
  • They disagree on how to restore civilian rule to Sudan: The RSF leader claims to represent marginalised groups against the country’s elites but his forces were accused of ethnic cleansing
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US state department spokesman John Kirby said there were currently no plans to evacuate US personnel, despite ongoing security concerns and the closure of Khartoum’s airport.

But he urged all Americans to treat the situation “with the utmost seriousness”.

The conflict has forced many civilians to shelter in their homes amid fears of a prolonged conflict that could land the country in deeper chaos.

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