The United States is deploying forces to eastern Africa in case an evacuation of American embassy staff in Sudan becomes necessary due to the battling rival factions in Khartoum, officials said Thursday.
“We are deploying additional capabilities nearby in the region for contingency purposes related to securing and potentially facilitating the departure of US Embassy personnel from Sudan,” the Pentagon said in a statement.
More than 300 people have been killed since fighting erupted Saturday between forces loyal to Sudan’s army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and his deputy, Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, who commands the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF).
Some of the fiercest battles have taken place in the capital Khartoum, a city home to five million people, most of whom have been cloistered in their homes without electricity, food and water.
A US official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said later that the additional US forces would be deployed to the east African nation of Djibouti.
The RSF, a powerful group formed from members of the Janjaweed militia that led years of extreme violence in Darfur, had said its forces would “fully commit to a complete ceasefire” from Wednesday evening for 24 hours, as did the army.
But witnesses said gunfire did not stop in Khartoum, as another ceasefire was breached within minutes of its supposed start for the second time in as many days.
Beyond Khartoum, witnesses reported loud explosions in the city of Obeid, in central state of North Kordofan.
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