Washington – A US citizen died in SudanThe State Department said Thursday that it is redeploying US forces in the region ahead of the evacuation of the US Embassy in Khartoum.
“We can confirm the death of an American citizen in Sudan,” a State Department spokesman said. “We are in touch with the family and offer our deepest condolences for their loss.”
Out of respect for the man’s family, the State Department declined to provide further details about the death.
Despite a ceasefire to end the bloodshed,In Sudan, fighting continues between General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, who heads the Sudanese Armed Forces, and General Mohamed Hamdan Tagalo, who is in charge of the Rapid Support Forces paramilitary group. A notable American diplomatic convoy Earlier this week, though, no one was injured.
The Pentagon is “moving forward to pre-position some military forces and capabilities nearby for contingency purposes should any sort of evacuation be necessary,” National Security Council spokesman John Kirby confirmed during a White House press briefing on Thursday.
President Biden said in recent days that he had authorized the move, but insisted that no decision had been made to pull out U.S. personnel.
“We want to make sure the capacity is ready if needed,” Kirby said. A US official said the Pentagon has moved special operations forces to Djibouti, a small country in the Horn of Africa.
In a statement earlier in the day, the Defense Department said US Africa Command was monitoring the situation and “conducting prudent planning for various contingencies”.
“As part of this, we are deploying additional capabilities in the region for contingency purposes related to the protection and facilitation of U.S. diplomatic personnel from Sudan if circumstances warrant,” the statement said.
Americans in the country have been urged to stay in shelters. State Department deputy spokesman Vedant Patel said Thursday that “it is not safe for the U.S. government to deport private U.S. citizens at this time.”
Patel said all U.S. personnel have been accounted for and that he was not currently aware of specific threats against embassy personnel or U.S. citizens in the country.
Senior US officials are in direct contact with the leadership of both sides and are pressing for an immediate ceasefire, a national security spokesman said.
Eleanor Watson, David Martin, Haley Ott, Olivia Gazis and Willie Inman contributed to this report.
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