US Secretary of State Antony Blinken held a phone call with Sudanese army leader Gen. Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan to discuss efforts to reach “an effective short-term cease-fire ” in the country, the State Department said on Saturday.
“I spoke this morning with Sudanese General Burhan about ongoing talks to reach an effective short-term cease-fire to facilitate humanitarian assistance and restore essential services desperately needed by the Sudanese people,” Blinken said on Twitter.
I spoke this morning with Sudanese General Burhan about ongoing talks to reach an effective short-term ceasefire to facilitate humanitarian assistance and restore essential services desperately needed by the Sudanese people.
— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) May 20, 2023
“In this step-by-step process, the secretary urged flexibility and leadership,” State Department Spokesman Matthew Miller said.
The call focused on the “ongoing talks” that were held in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, with Arab leaders and ministers on the sidelines of the 32nd Arab League Summit that concluded on Friday.
Blinken reiterated condemnation of the “violence by both parties that has resulted in the death and injury of many Sudanese civilians, underscoring that agreement in Jeddah would allow the provision of humanitarian assistance and essential services that are desperately needed by the Sudanese people,” Miller said in a statement.
“The United States is unwavering in its support of the democratic aspirations of the Sudanese people for a civilian government and a stable, democratic Sudan,” he added.
The fighting in Sudan, which has now entered its sixth week, has trapped civilians in a humanitarian crisis and displaced nearly 1.1 million people internally and into neighboring countries. The World Health Organization says more than 700 people have been killed and nearly 5,300 injured nationwide.