Kenya has closed its mission in Khartoum, Sudan, amid intensified fighting in several areas of the capital after a ceasefire deal expired.
Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Korir Sing’oei, said in a Twitter post that the mission had remained open to facilitate the evacuation of any Kenyan from the war-torn country.
The decision coming in the wake of reports that armed groups were now targeting diplomatic officials.
“We continue to receive disturbing news of the targeting of diplomatic officials by armed groups in Khartoum, Sudan. Kenya Mission in Khartoum which had remained open to facilitate evacuation of any Kenyans still in the country is now closed” he tweeted.
Kenya had rescued at least 900 people since the beginning of May.
For nearly seven weeks, fighting between the regular army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) has gripped Khartoum and the western region of Darfur, despite repeated efforts to broker a humanitarian ceasefire.
The United States and Saudi Arabia have made a renewed push for truce talks. A five-day extension of a US- and Saudi-brokered truce formally expired on Saturday with no signs of the conflict abating.
Meanwhile, The deputy head of Sudan’s ruling council, Malik Agar, has welcomed negotiations for a further ceasefire but said no truce can hold until all forces are withdrawn from the capital.
There’s been an alarming escalation of violence in Khartoum and in the western Darfur region since the negotiations in Saudi Arabia broke down last week. Both the army and the rival paramilitary force, the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), accused each other of violating the truce, but negotiators have remained in Jeddah.
Agar said the talks there represented the best hope of ending the fighting. Sudanese military leader Gen Abdel Fattah al-Burhan recently appointed Agar, a former rebel leader, to replace his former deputy Gen Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, also known as Hemedti, who heads the RSF.
Most of the troops in Khartoum are RSF fighters, and the army appears to have resumed its attempts to blast them out of the positions they’re holding.
Additional reporting by agencies