Kenya Shuts Down Diplomatic Mission in Sudan as Fighting Intensifies

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Kenya has announced the closure of its diplomatic mission in Khartoum, Sudan, citing reports of armed groups targeting diplomatic officials amid ongoing infighting.

Principal Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Korir Sing’oei, stated that Kenya had been actively facilitating the evacuation of its citizens from the war-torn country. Sing’oei expressed concern over the targeting of diplomatic officials by armed groups in Khartoum, leading to the decision to close the Kenya Mission in the city.

Kenya had already evacuated approximately 900 people by early May due to the escalating conflict between Sudan’s rival factions.

The conflict in Sudan has entered its seventh week, with fierce battles between duelling generals from the Sudanese army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) since April 15.

The situation has plunged the nation into a humanitarian crisis, resulting in over 1,800 deaths and displacing at least 1.6 million people within Sudan and across its borders.

Many affected individuals have sought refuge in neighboring countries such as Egypt, Chad, and South Sudan.

Despite multiple ceasefire attempts and Saudi and United States-brokered peace negotiations, the situation on the ground remains volatile, with both parties violating agreements.

In response to the ongoing violence, the United States recently imposed sanctions on entities associated with the conflict, warning of accountability for those undermining peace.

The targeted sanctions specifically focus on firms linked to RSF head Mohamed Hamdan “Hemedti” Dagalo in the United Arab Emirates and Khartoum, as well as two defense companies associated with the Sudanese Armed Forces.

On Sunday, the United States and Saudi Arabia renewed their efforts to facilitate truce talks between Sudan’s warring generals.

Envoys from the Sudanese regular army and the RSF have remained in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, despite the collapse of previous ceasefire negotiations.

The foreign mediators called for the parties involved to agree on and implement a new ceasefire, aiming to eventually achieve a permanent cessation of hostilities.

In a recent meeting, Kenyan President William Ruto engaged in discussions with Vice-President of the Transitional Sovereign Council of Sudan, Gen Malik Agar Nganyoufa, and Gen Abdel Fattah al-Burhan.

Ruto expressed his commitment to pushing for the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) to expedite the peace process.

Additionally, Ruto held a meeting with Yousif Izzat, the special envoy of Gen Dagalo, at State House in Nairobi.