(NewsNation) — The Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) have agreed to a 72-hour nationwide ceasefire.
“To support a durable end to the fighting, the United States will coordinate with regional and international partners, and Sudanese civilian stakeholders, to assist in the creation of a committee to oversee the negotiation, conclusion, and implementation of a permanent cessation of hostilities and humanitarian arrangements in Sudan,” Secretary of State Anthony Blinken announced Monday.
Most of the U.S. government personnel have been evacuated from Sudan and are on their way back the U.S., but as many as 16,000 American citizens are still in the country as fighting between the military and a paramilitary group intensifies.
The Biden administration says they don’t foresee coordinating another evacuation for the remaining U.S. citizens, but it hasn’t been ruled out entirely.
“When it comes to being able to respond, should we feel we need to do so to protect the security of our people who may be coming under threat, the United States has the kinds of assets and capabilities necessary to be able to do that,” White House national security advisor Jake Sullivan said in a press briefing Monday.
“But from our perspective right now, we believe that the current course that we are on, which is to continue to try to facilitate and support this land evacuation route is the best way for us to proceed,” Sullivan added.
To keep U.S. forces from going on the ground, the Pentagon is using ISR assets (intelligence surveillance capabilities) that can both look for safe routes for American citizens to take and be alerted of any potential threats.
Over 100 U.S. special forces left from Djibouti in military helicopters Saturday to evacuate the U.S. embassy in Khatotum, Sudan’s capitol.
Currently, there are about 150 U.S. troops in Djibouti.
Just under 100 Americans were evacuated, with less than one hour spent on the ground. There were no injuries, casualties or fire taken. Defense officials described it as a “fast and clean operation.”
“The decision to suspend operations at the embassy and remove our personnel from their assigned posts is among the most difficult any Secretary has to make but my first priority is the safety of our people but Khartoum posed an unacceptable risk to keeping our team there at this time,” said Secretary of State Anthony Blinken.
Blinked stressed this is a temporary suspension of operations and that he is already exploring ways to bring back diplomatic consular presence to the country as soon as possible.
Evacuations are ongoing at the port of Sudan as there is an apparent lull in the fighting.
Sudan, the third largest country in Africa, has been on a level 4 “do not travel” advisory for nearly two years.