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US bolstering forces ahead of possible Sudan embassy evacuation

The US is increasing the number of troops it has deployed to East Africa as the Biden administration prepares for a potential evacuation of its embassy staff in Sudan, the Pentagon said Thursday.

Defense Department spokesperson Lt. Col. Phil Ventura said US Africa Command “is monitoring the situation in Sudan and conducting prudent planning for various contingencies” as violence continues to spiral in Sudan between warring generals.

“We are deploying additional capabilities nearby in the region for contingency purposes related to securing and potentially facilitating the departure of U.S. Embassy personnel from Sudan, if circumstances require it,” Ventura said.

At least 270 people have been killed and 2,600 others injured in armed clashes since Saturday between the Sudanese army and paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) troops in the capital Khartoum and its surrounding areas.

The RSF accused the army of attacking its forces in the south of Khartoum with light and heavy weapons, while the military claimed that the paramilitary force was “spreading lies,” and labeled it a “rebel” group.

Sudan has been without a functioning government since Oct. 2021, when the military dismissed Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok’s transitional government, and declared a state of emergency in what political forces called a “coup.”

*Kasim Ileri contributed to the story

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