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Sudan Deteriorates as US Embassy Shelters in Place; American Killed Amid Fighting

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As the situation inside Sudan continues to deteriorate, U.S. embassy personnel are under a shelter-in-place order, and announced that they cannot give emergency help to Americans inside the war-torn country. An American citizen was killed, and U.S. troops are being stationed in the region for potentially evacuating diplomatic staff, officials said.

The chaos inside Sudan includes personal assaults, home invasions, and looting, the State Department reported, advising  U.S. citizens ” to remain indoors, shelter in place until further notice and avoid travel to the U.S. embassy.”

The station itself “cannot provide emergency consular services,” the embassy announced.

READ MORE about the fighting in Sudan

Thousands of Khartoum residents have fled their homes in the past two days, seeking safety and basic necessities, witnesses reported.  Food supplies are low, and most parts of the city have no electricity or running water. At least 20 hospitals have closed, according to Sudan’s minister of health.

The fighting was triggered over Sudan’s political future, which has been unstable  since longtime leader Omar al-Bashir was ousted in 2019. Two military factions — once political allies, now battlefield adversaries — are wrestling for control over the city and over the country’s lucrative mineral resource exports, especially gold. Violence is erupting in other parts of the northeast African nation. 

Unconfirmed video from inside Sudan purports to show military forces on the move on Friday.

According to VOA, Sudan’s paramilitary Rapid Support Forces said Friday it has agreed to a 72-hour truce to begin at 6 a.m., designed to bring a temporary halt to the days of fighting that has killed hundreds. The proposed ceasefire coincides with Eid, the Muslim holiday marking the end of the month of Ramadan.

The region has long been a locus of conflict, as noted by longtime CIA shadow warrior and bestselling author Ric Prado, whose many positions at the agency included being co-founder of the Bin Laden Task Force.

“I was in/out of Khartoum in the late 1990s-2000, during the al-Bashir regime,” recalled Prado, a member of the Soldier of Fortune Advisory Committee. “At this time, Sudan was a safe-haven for any notorious terrorist, who could pay for his safety there.”

American officials have said only that they are “conducting prudent planning for various contingencies” regarding the current situation.

“As part of this, we are deploying additional capabilities nearby in the region for contingency purposes related to securing and potentially facilitating the departure of U.S. Embassy personnel from Sudan, if circumstances require it.”  said Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Phil Ventura.

With reporting from VOA.  

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