US intelligence chief warns fighting in Sudan likely to drag on

The United States' top intelligence official warns that fighting between the Sudanese armed forces and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces in Sudan is likely to be protracted.

Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines presented the assessment at the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday. The current conflict in Sudan broke out on April 15.

She said both warring factions "believe they can win militarily, and have few incentives to come to the negotiating table."

She added that both sides are seeking outside support that could intensify the conflict and risks creating "spillover challenges" in the region.

US President Joe Biden issued a statement saying, "the violence taking place in Sudan is a tragedy - and it is a betrayal of the Sudanese people's clear demand for civilian government and a transition to democracy."

Biden signed an executive order paving the way for sanctions on individuals deemed to be a threat to the peace, security and stability of Sudan. The targeted people include those using violence against civilians, or committing human rights abuses.