OAN Roy Francis
UPDATED 9:43 AM – Friday, April 21, 2023
A United States citizen has been killed in the fighting in Sudan that has been escalating in the past week.
State Department spokesperson, Vedant Patel, confirmed the death saying that they are in contact with the family of the deceased and have nothing more to add.
“We can confirm the death of one U.S. citizen in Sudan,” Patel said. “We are in touch with the family and offer our deepest condolences to them on their loss. Out of respect for the family during this difficult time, we have nothing further to add.”
However, the State Department did confirm that the individual did not work for the embassy, and added that they are in close contact with the embassy in Khartoum.
“We continue to remain in close contact with our Embassy in Khartoum and have full accountability of our personnel,” the State Department said.
According to two congressional sources, there are currently around 16,000 Americans in Sudan as the fighting between the two generals has forced the civilian population to shelter in place.
“Khartoum International Airport and Sudan’s border with Chad is closed and due to the unfortunate and uncertain and very fluid security situation in Khartoum, and again, because of the closure of the airport, it’s not safe to undertake a U.S. government coordinated evacuate of private American citizens at this time,” Patel told reporters on Thursday. “But we’re continuing to monitor the situation closely. We’re monitoring it from here, monitoring it with our team in Khartoum.”
Due to the conflict, the State Department has also issued a dire warning against travel to Sudan. The warning stated that armed “conflict, crime, such as kidnapping, armed robbery, home invasion, and carjackings” are current high threats in the country.
Lieutenant Colonel Phillip Ventura also said that the Department of Defense is increasing its forces in the area, specifically in Djibouti, in case the need for a full evacuation of Americans from the country becomes necessary.
“The Department of Defense, through U.S. Africa Command, is monitoring the situation in Sudan and conducting prudent planning for various contingencies,” he said. “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.”
However, he did not confirm if an evacuation or any further operations due to “policy and security.”
“As a matter of policy and security, we do not speculate on potential future operations,” he said.
The escalating conflict in Sudan pits the Sudanese military forces, which are under the control of General Abdel Fattah Burhan, against his former deputy General Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo who leads the Rapid Support Forces.
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