Qatar’s embassy in Sudan under siege

It is Sunday, May 21, 2023, and Sudan is once again in turmoil. The military in Sudan is claiming that the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) was responsible for a recent raid, while Qatar is denouncing the attack but not laying blame on any specific group. Adding to the chaos, there have been reports of air strikes in and around Khartoum.

In a stunning development, Qatar’s embassy in Sudan was ransacked by an armed group. The Foreign Ministry of Qatar has condemned the armed forces’ actions in the strongest possible terms. Fortunately, all embassy staff had been evacuated and none were harmed.

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The situation has been further complicated by conflicting reports about who is actually responsible for the attack. While Qatar did not publicly accuse anyone, authorities loyal to General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan issued a statement blaming the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) under Mohamed Hamdan Daglo.

Unfortunately, this attack was not an isolated incident. In recent weeks, other embassies – including those belonging to Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey – have also come under attack in Sudan.

The timing of this attack is particularly unnerving, occurring just one day after an Arab League summit held in Saudi Arabia. At that summit, leaders renewed calls for a truce between the warring parties in Sudan.

Adding to the alarming situation, Khartoum itself has become the target of air strikes and artillery exchanges between Sudan’s opposing factions. News agencies have cited eyewitnesses claiming some of the strikes occurred near Sudan’s state broadcaster in Omdurman, with others hitting southern Omdurman and northern Bahri.

While sporadic gunshots can be heard, the situation in Khartoum itself is reportedly relatively calm. Sadly, the conflict in Sudan that began on April 15 has already displaced a staggering 1.1 million people, with 705 deaths being reported by the World Health Organization.

The future remains uncertain, and many are watching Sudan closely to see what will happen next.

sdi/msh (AFP, Reuters)

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