July 13, 2024

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Fighting Sudan: Assault on the EU ambassador in a house in Khartoum

Fighting Sudan: Assault on the EU ambassador in a house in Khartoum
  • By Antoinette Radford
  • BBC News

image source, Facebook / European Union in Sudan

photo caption,

Aidan O’Hara becomes EU Ambassador to Sudan in 2022

The European Union’s chief diplomat, Josep Borrell, said that the European Union’s ambassador to Sudan was attacked at his home in Khartoum.

Borrell did not reveal any details of the attack, but an EU spokeswoman said the ambassador was “fine”.

“The security of diplomatic premises and personnel is the primary responsibility of the Sudanese authorities,” Borrell wrote on Twitter.

Although not named by Mr Borrell, the EU ambassador to Sudan is Aidan O’Hara, an Irish diplomat.

The BBC called Mr. O’Hara’s office.

Mr O’Hara trained as a barrister in Dublin, before starting his career at the Irish Foreign Office in 1986.

Before moving to Sudan, he served as Ambassador of the European Union to Djibouti and Ambassador of Ireland to Ethiopia and South Sudan.

EU spokeswoman Nabila Masrali told AFP that “staff security is our priority” and that the EU delegation had not been evacuated from Khartoum following the attack.

She said they were evaluating their security measures.

Borrell said the attack on Mr O’Hara was a “flagrant violation of the Vienna Convention”, a UN convention that outlines protections for diplomats serving in other countries.

Monday was the third day of fighting in Sudan between the army and a paramilitary group called the Rapid Support Forces.

Sudan: The Basics

  • Sudan is located in northeastern Africa and has a history of instability: It fell under military rule in 2019, when leader Omar al-Bashir was overthrown
  • Since then, two men have taken over: The army’s commander and deputy, he is also the head of a paramilitary group called the Rapid Support Forces
  • They disagree on how to restore civilian rule to Sudan: The RSF leader claims to represent marginalized groups against the country’s elites, but his forces have been accused of ethnic cleansing

More than 1,800 civilians and combatants have been wounded, according to the UN envoy to Sudan, Volker Berthes. He told reporters on Monday that 185 people had died.

The conflict witnessed several air strikes, artillery fire, and heavy fire on civilian neighborhoods.

US State Department spokesman John Kirby said there are currently no plans to evacuate US personnel, although security concerns remain and the closure of Khartoum airport.

But he urged all Americans to take the situation “very seriously.”

The conflict has forced many civilians to take shelter in their homes amid fears of a protracted conflict that could plunge the country into deeper chaos.

More on Sudan

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Witness: What happened in Sudan since Saturday?