2nd American dies amid violence in Sudan, White House official says

A ceasefire is holding despite sporadic reports of gunfire, an official says.

April 26, 2023, 6:14 PM

A second American has been killed in the violence in Sudan, White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby confirmed on Wednesday.

While Kirby did not name the victim, a family spokesperson identified him to ABC News as Bushra Ibnauf Sulieman, a doctor who was helping educate physicians in Sudan and whose children live in the U.S.

"We can confirm the death of a second American citizen yesterday. We extend our deepest condolences to the family," Kirby said. "We continue to make clear, at the highest levels of our government, to the leadership of both the Sudanese armed forces and the rapid support forces, that they are responsible for ensuring the protection of civilians and non-combatants, including people from third countries and humanitarian staff that are working to save lives."

Kirby did not elaborate on the circumstances of Sulieman’s death, but a press release from his family stated that the University of Khartoum professor of internal medicine was killed while escorting his father to a dialysis appointment.

Kirby also indicated the ceasefire is largely holding despite sporadic reports of gunfire.

“I know you've heard that there was a ceasefire that the U.S. brokered started at midnight on the 24th. Although there are some reports of violence and sporadic shelling and firing, we're glad to see that the levels generally appeared, levels of violence generally appear to have gone significantly down. We urge both military factions that fully uphold this ceasefire, and to further extend it,” he said.

Sulieman, a father of four, had been in Sudan with his wife and two young children taking care of his parents, teaching and practicing medicine in a much-needed area of Sudan, his longtime friend, Dr. Khidir Dalouk, told ABC News.

Dalouk said the doctor was stabbed to death Tuesday.

“I think that the world, not just Sudan or his family, it has lost a human soul. A good person who did not think about himself. He always thought about his family first, his patients first, his students first," an emotional Dalouk said. "We're sorry that he's gone”

A burned vehicle is seen in Khartoum, Sudan, April 26, 2023.
El Tayeb Siddig/Reuters

Last week the State Department confirmed that one American died in the conflict in Sudan.

As of Tuesday evening, five United Nations staffers were also among the hundreds that have been killed amid the ongoing clashes between forces loyal to two rival generals, according to officials.

Kirby also said the U.S. is actively facilitating the departure of a “relatively small number of Americans” who have indicated their desire to leave the country.

“We continue to deploy U.S. intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assets on manned assets to support land evacuation routes, which Americans are using, and we're still moving naval assets within the region to provide support along the coast. American citizens are arriving in Port Sudan, and we are helping to facilitate their onward travel as appropriate,” Kirby said.

An estimated 16,000 Americans -- most of whom are dual U.S.-Sudanese citizens -- remain in Sudan, according to Kirby.

"These are people that grew up in Sudan, work in Sudan, families are in Sudan and they want to stay in Sudan, so it's a number that is difficult to plan to specifically," Kirby told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos in an interview Monday on "Good Morning America."

Kirby did not have much to offer on the growing concern over the need for humanitarian assistance in Sudan. He noted USAID has a team on the ground, but deferred to USAID Ambassador Samantha Power on any effort to increase humanitarian aid, saying the ceasefire really needs to hold, in order to expand.

ABC News' Katherine Carroll, Morgan Winsor and Teddy Grant contributed to this report.