An Irish diplomat who was attacked at his residence in Sudan’s capital Khartoum is in “good shape”, Tánaiste Michael Martin has said.
The foreign minister said he was “deeply concerned” when he heard about the attack on Aidan O’Hara, 58, the EU ambassador to Sudan last night.
“Edan is in good shape, thank God,” Martin told reporters at a news conference in Belfast.
“We have a number of Irish nationals in Sudan, working with a number of international organisations, Aden is the UN Ambassador to Sudan. We are obviously keeping a very close eye on his well-being,” he said.
Mr. O’Hara joined the State Department in 1986 and in 2012 served as ambassador to Ethiopia, South Sudan and the African Union.
The incident comes as the Sudanese capital has been rocked by explosions and shelling over the past three days, as the army and a powerful rival force fight in the streets for control of the country.
“The situation in Sudan is very, very dire,” Mr Martin said, adding that the safety of Irish nationals in the country was “paramount” and appealed for “an end to all hostilities on both sides”.
“I would ask heroes to heed the words of the UN Secretary General regarding ending violence and engaging in dialogue.
“Obviously, with the situation at the airport in Khartoum it is very difficult to leave the country right now.
“We are looking forward to keeping up with the situation with our partners within the EU and with the United Kingdom, we will continue to monitor it and obviously from our perspective, the safety of our citizens is paramount.”
UN envoy Volker Perthes said at least 185 people have been killed and more than 1,800 wounded since the fighting began.
The death toll could be much higher as many bodies lay in the streets around central Khartoum where no one can reach because of the conflict.
There has been no official word on how many civilians or combatants have been killed.
A sudden explosion of violence over the weekend between the country’s two top generals, each backed by tens of thousands of fighters, trapped millions of people in their homes or wherever they could find shelter, running short of supplies in many areas .
Both sides are using tanks, artillery and other heavy weapons in densely populated areas.
Fighter jets swooped overhead and anti-aircraft fire lit up the sky as darkness fell.
With the UN Security Council poised to discuss the crisis, top diplomats on four continents scrambled to mediate.
Mr Martin has said his department, including at its embassy in Nairobi, “will continue to closely monitor the situation, and work with our partners in the region, within the European Union and at the United Nations, to end the violence.” Will do ,
It comes as earlier this evening Sudan’s rival commanders agreed a 24-hour ceasefire, after pressure from US Secretary of State Antony Blinken sparked deadly fighting that fired on a US diplomatic convoy.
The ceasefire will begin at 6 p.m. (4 p.m. GMT) and will not extend beyond 24 hours, Army General Shams El Din Qabashi, a member of Sudan’s ruling military council, said on Al Arabiya TV.
Mr Blinken held separate calls with rival commanders – the army chief and the head of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) – whose power struggle has fueled an internationally backed plan to move to civilian rule after decades of autocracy and military control. derailed.
Blinken, speaking in Japan, said he had called both RSF leader General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, better known as Hemedti, and General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, “to help Sudanese be safely reunited with families.” to allow” a 24-hour ceasefire. To provide relief to them.
The Foreign Minister said that an American convoy was attacked despite having diplomatic license plates and American flags. Initial reports suggest the attack was carried out by forces affiliated with the RSF, he said, describing the action as “reckless”. Blinken said all US personnel are safe after the incident.
After the call, Hemedti said that the RSF approved a ceasefire to allow the safe passage of civilians and the evacuation of the wounded.
In a post on Twitter, Hemedti said he had “discussed urgent issues” with Blinken and that more talks were planned. The RSF also released a statement saying it was fighting a battle to restore “the rights of our people” in what it called a new revolution.
Hemedti’s whereabouts have not been disclosed since the start of the fighting.
A previous short truce agreed for Sunday was not fully followed. Artillery volleys, strikes by fighter jets and street fighting have made it almost impossible to travel in Khartoum, trapping residents and foreigners in their homes.
The main international airport has been attacked, commercial flights have been halted.
Fighters have attacked aid workers, hospitals and diplomats, including EU ambassador Aidan O’Hara. Fighting on Saturday left three World Food Program workers dead and a UN plane shot down.
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said it was almost impossible to provide humanitarian services around the capital. It warned that Sudan’s health system was at risk of collapse.
Additional reporting by Reuters.