White House Confirms Second American Dead in Sudan Despite Ceasefire

A second American has died during the unrest in Sudan, despite a temporary ceasefire brokered by the U.S.

On Monday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced that a 72-hour ceasefire had been agreed to by rival Sudanese generals to allow the continued evacuation of foreign nationals from the country.


KHARTOUM, Sudan (AP) — As foreign governments airlifted hundreds of their diplomats and other citizens to safety, Sudanese desperately sought ways to escape the chaos Monday, fearing that the country’s two rival generals will escalate their all-out battle for power once evacuations are completed.

United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he had helped broker a 72-hour cease-fire to begin late Monday. It would extend a nominal truce that has done little to stop the fighting but helped facilitate the evacuations.

However, on Tuesday, White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby confirmed that a second American has now been killed in the fighting, telling reporters on a virtual call:

We extend our deepest condolences to the family. We continue to make clear at the highest levels of our government the leadership of both the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces that they are responsible for ensuring the protection of civilians and noncombatants, including people from third countries and humanitarian staff that are working to save lives.


Kirby continued:

Although there are some reports of violence and sporadic shelling and firing, we’re glad to see that the levels of violence generally appear to have gone significantly down. We urge both military factions to fully uphold the ceasefire and to further extend it.

We’ve said this many, many times that the violence is simply unconscionable and it must stop. We’ve got to do what’s right for the Sudanese people. They want a return to peace and security in Khartoum and around the country, and they want to see a transition to civilian authority. And we need to keep working at that.

Although the State Department announced on Saturday that they would not be evacuating American citizens from Sudan, per Kirby, the U.S. is facilitating the departure of those who wish to leave the country. He noted:

We continue to deploy U.S. intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assets, unmanned assets to support land evacuation routes, which Americans are using, and we’re still moving naval assets within the region to provide support along the coast and off of Port Sudan. American citizens are arriving in Port Sudan, and we are helping to facilitate their onward travel as appropriate.

Kirby emphasized that, despite the upheaval, the U.S. is not cutting diplomatic ties with Sudan, stating:


I just want to stress that we’ve suspended operations at the embassy, but we have not dismantled our diplomatic relations or the mechanisms to conduct diplomatic relations with Sudan. We’re simply moving the embassy personnel out of the country. But we still have an ambassador to Sudan, John Godfrey, and he’s done a great job, and he’s going to continue to do his duties from outside the country.

It’s not unlike what we had to do in Ukraine when we’ve evacuated the embassy temporarily and in the early weeks and months of the fighting and then put them back in, we fully intend to get that embassy back up and running, get those personnel back on the ground in Khartoum so that we can continue to look after the long term relationship and then the long term needs of the Sudanese people. That is that that is absolutely not something we’re going to forget about.



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