Washington: US State Secretary Antony Blinken on Thursday spoke with Abdel Fattah al Burhan, the commander of the Sudanese military, and Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, the commander of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and urged the parties to the conflict in Sudan to uphold a nationwide ceasefire until the end of Islamic holiday Eid al-Fitr on April 23, State Department Principal Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel said.
“Secretary Blinken spoke separately with General Abdel Fattah al Burhan, Commander of the Sudanese Armed Forces, and with General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, Commander of the Rapid Support Forces. Secretary Blinken condemned the indiscriminate fighting that has caused significant civilian deaths and injuries and damage to essential infrastructure. He urged both military leaders to implement and uphold a nationwide ceasefire and sustain it through at least the end of Eid al-Fitr, Sunday, April 23,” Patel said in a statement.
Patel added that Blinken also participated in a special ministerial session led by African Union Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki and joined by African, Arab, and regional and international partners and organizations. The meeting “agreed unanimously on the urgent need for an Eid al-Fitr ceasefire in Sudan to alleviate the suffering of the Sudanese people and to pave the way for a more permanent ceasefire,” the deputy spokesperson added.
Clashes between the Sudanese regular army and the RSF broke out on Saturday in Sudan’s capital of Khartoum and elsewhere in the country. Government forces accused the RSF of mutiny and launched airstrikes against their bases. Later, Abdel Fattah Burhan, the head of the Sudanese military, issued a decree disbanding the RSF.