Blinken calls for immediate end to hostilities in Sudan

Secretary of State Antony Blinken called for an immediate end to hostilities between Sudan’s government and a powerful paramilitary group that have left at least 56 people dead.

Blinken said he spoke with top diplomats from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates on Saturday, two countries with considerable interests in Sudan, and agreed that the fighting in the north African country should stop “without pre-condition.”

“We agreed it was essential for the parties to immediately end hostilities without pre-condition,” Blinken said in a statement Saturday.

Intense fighting between the military and a paramilitary force in Sudan’s capital city Khartoum has killed at least 56 people and wounded hundreds of others. The deadly clash between the two forces comes after months of flared tensions, with the sides negotiating a civilian transition to democracy.

The two groups, the Sudanese military and the Rapid Support Forces, joined to orchestrate a coup of the government in 2021. Now, the once-allied sides have descended into intense fighting.

Blinken said at a press conference in Vietnam on Saturday that the two parties in Sudan had reached an agreement on a “very important framework,” but said some actors were trying to push against the transition to a civilian-led democracy.

“The major parties in Khartoum some weeks ago reached a very important framework agreement on how to proceed with a transition to civilian government,” Blinken said. “There are other actors that may be pushing against that progress.  But this is a real opportunity to finally carry forward the civilian-led transition.”

The pressure from the U.S., Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E for the parties in Sudan to stop the fighting comes as other international partners, like the European Union and the United Nations, have also called on the hostilities to stop.

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