A US diplomat has returned to work at the US embassy in Khartoum for the first time since Americans left the mission amid security fears two years ago, Sudanese and US sources said Thursday.
The diplomat, who arrived from the Kenyan capital in Nairobi and who was identified as Donald Teitelbaum, took up his post of charge d'affaires at the embassy last Saturday, Sudan's state-run SUNA news agency said.
A US diplomat in the region confirmed that a US officer had returned to Khartoum in the last few days and more were expected on a "temporary, rotating basis to ensure at least one American officer is there at all times."
Another US diplomat, identified as Donald Mulligan, was to take up the post of consul after traveling from the Egyptian capital Cairo early next week, SUNA added.
The US embassy spokesman in Cairo, David Ballard, told AFP that a US officer would be in Khartoum from April 23 to May 4 to provide consular services to the Sudanese.
Ballard did not disclose his name, but Mulligan is vice consul at the US embassy in Cairo, which has temporarily handled some consular services for the Sudanese while the embassy in Khartoum was without US staff.
SUNA said the Sudanese foreign ministry had issued entry visas to the charge d'affaires and the consul as well as an administrative officer to discharge diplomatic and administrative functions at the embassy.
It did not say when the third American would arrive.
The US government moved its Khartoum embassy staff to Nairobi for security reasons about four years ago, although the ambassador used to visit the Sudanese capital once a month to maintain a presence.
But he stopped making the visits amid an upsurge of security fears after US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were blown up in August 1988. The Khartoum embassy has since been maintained by Sudanese staff.
The developments came after US presidential envoy Harry Johnston made a groundbreaking visit to Khartoum on March 4 to discuss restaffing the embassy while ensuring its security as well as broader issues like Sudan's civil war.
US officials have said Washington is trying to re-engage the Islamist government in Khartoum, which it says is a state sponsor of terrorism and which it condemns for its actions in the 17-year civil war in the south -- KHARTOUM (AFP)
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