James Cleverly led the international response to the outbreak of civil war in Sudan with demands for a ceasefire. The UK Foreign Secretary joined his US counterpart Antony Blinken to demand an end to the fighting after a third day of clashes between military factions allied to two rival generals.
The foreign ministers of the world’s leading democracies are meeting at the G7 summit in Karuizawa in Japan this week.
As fighting escalated the ministers turned their discussions to the conflict and Mr Blinken and Mr Cleverly left to make a joint statement condemning the violence.
The US Secretary of State said: “There is a shared deep concern about the fighting, the violence that is going on in Sudan, the threat that poses to civilians, that it poses to the Sudanese nation and potentially poses even to the region.
“There’s also a strongly held view across all of our partners on the need for an immediate ceasefire and a return to talks. Talks that were very promising in putting Sudan on a path to a full transition to a civilian-led government.
“People in Sudan want the military back in the barracks, they want democracy, they want a civilian-led government. Sudan needs to return to that path.”
Mr Cleverly added: “I echo the points that have been made already by Secretary Blinken that we call upon an immediate cessation of violence, a return to the talks, talks which seemed to be heading in the direction of civilian government. That, of course, is the ultimate desired outcome.
“Ultimately the immediate future lies in the hands of the generals who are engaged in this fight. We call on them to put peace first, to bring an end to the fighting, to get back to negotiations.
“That’s what the people of Sudan want, that’s what the people of Sudan deserve. We will continue to seek ways to support that road back to peace.”
The Foreign Secretary pointed out that his “first priority” is the protection of British citizens in Sudan and the government would provide “what support we can” to them.
The UK has previously changed its travel advice to warn against travel to Sudan which was reiterated by Mr Cleverly today.
The death toll in Sudan has reached at least 97 after fighting between the military factions.
The doctors union in the country have warned that hospitals in the capital Khartoum are overrun and more than 1,100 have been injured.
The fighting is between Sudanese army forces loyal to General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and the Rapid Response Forces loyal to General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, known as Hemedti.
The two generals helped overthrow the country’s Islamist leader in 2019 and the country is supposed to be transitioning to a civilian democracy.
Source: Read Full Article