Sudan clash: EU ambassador assaulted inside Khartoum residence

18 April, 2023 | Vaishali Sharma

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A European Union ambassador was assaulted by members of the Rapid Support Forces paramilitary group inside his residence in Khartoum, Sudan's capital, on Monday afternoon.

A European Union ambassador was assaulted by members of the Rapid Support Forces paramilitary group inside his residence in Khartoum, Sudan’s capital, on Monday afternoon, according to the European Union.

Aidan O’Hara, the EU’s ambassador to Sudan, is an Irish diplomat who was not injured after armed men barged in, threatened him at gunpoint, and stole money, according to officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity for security reasons, according to the New York Times. The assailants were identified by their uniforms and because the group was controlling the nearby streets, according to the officials.

In a text message, a spokeswoman for the European Union said that O’Hara was doing “fine.” She, however, did not provide more details.

The assault is a sign of how Sudan’s security situation had deteriorated. People were hiding inside their homes around the nation out of concern for their safety. It appeared to not stop with O’Hara. The gunmen were forcing UN staff members out of their houses in Khartoum, according to UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric, reported New York Times.

EU’s top diplomat, Josep Borell Fontelles, tweeted, “A few hours ago, the EU Ambassador in Sudan was assaulted in his own residency. The assault constitutes a gross violation of the Vienna Convention.”

“Security of diplomatic premises and staff is a primary responsibility of Sudanese authorities and an obligation under international law,” he added.

John Kirby, a spokesman for the National Security Council, said US Embassy officials in Sudan were hunkered down at their official residences amid the escalating violence.

“All US government personnel are accounted for,” he added, reported New York Times.
As many as 180 civilians have been killed while more than 1,800 civilians and combatants have been injured in fighting between Sudan’s military and the country’s main paramilitary force, according to the United Nations envoy to Sudan, Volker Perthes, The New York Times reported.

According to the New York Times, the fighting has left many of Khartoum’s five million residents stranded at home without electricity or water as the Muslim holy month of Ramzan approaches, with many fasting daily from dawn to dusk.

Overburdened medical facilities, including a major medical centre northeast of Khartoum, have been shelled, evacuated, and shut down. According to the New York Times, more than a dozen hospitals have closed. Earlier on Saturday, clashes between rival armed forces factions were reported in various parts of Khartoum, according to the New York Times.

After 18 months of coup, Sudan’s military promised to hand over power to a civilian-led government this month. Nonetheless, the process has been defined by a feud between General al-Burhan and General Hamdan, also known as Hemeti.

In recent months, the two generals have openly criticised each other in speeches, and they have dispatched reinforcements and armoured vehicles to oppose military camps spread throughout the city.