Allies share ‘deep concerns’ about Sudan

TOKYO (Reuters) – US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Monday there was a “shared deep concern” among allies about the fighting in Sudan and the view that it should cease immediately and the sides return to talks.

Fighting erupted between army units and a rival paramilitary force in Sudan on Saturday, killing at least 97 civilians and the army appearing to be gaining the upper hand on Sunday.

Blinken said on the sidelines of a meeting of the group of seven foreign ministers in Japan that there had been close consultations on the fighting, including with partners in the Arab world and Africa, as well as with international organizations.

“There is a shared deep concern about the fighting and violence that is taking place in Sudan. The threat this poses to civilians, it poses to the Sudanese nation and possibly even the region,” he said.

There is a strong shared view that steps need to be taken to protect civilians, non-combatants and people from third countries, he said.

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“And also again a strong view from all our partners on the need for an immediate ceasefire and return to talks – talks that have shown great promise to put Sudan on the path to a full transition to civilian-led government,” he said .

Blinken’s views were shared by British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly.

“Ultimately, the immediate future rests in the hands of the generals engaged in this struggle, and we urge them to put peace first, end the fighting and return to negotiations,” Cleverly said.

(Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk, writing by Elaine Lies; editing by Tom Hogue)

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