Irishman serving as EU ambassador to Sudan assaulted, says chief diplomat

Aidan O’Hara said to be ‘okay’ after incident at his residence in Khartoum; Tánaiste Micheál Martin says he is ‘deeply concerned at the serious incident’

The Irishman serving as the European Union’s ambassador to Sudan was assaulted at his residence in Khartoum, the head of the EU’s diplomatic service said in a tweet on Monday.

EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell said on Monday evening “a few hours ago, the EU Ambassador in Sudan was assaulted in his own residency,” and that the incident “constitutes a gross violation of the Vienna Convention”.

“Security of diplomatic premises and staff is a primary responsibility of Sudanese authorities and an obligation under international law,” he posted on the social media platform.

He gave no further details on the incident. A spokeswoman for the EU separately told news agency AFP that Aidan O’Hara, a 58-year-old graduate of Trinity College and the Kings Inns who was previously Ireland’s ambassador to Ethiopia, was “okay” after the incident.


She said that the security of the EU’s staff was the priority but that the delegation had not been evacuated while their security was being assessed.

Commenting on the news on Monday evening, the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Micheál Martin, said he was “deeply concerned at the serious incident in Khartoum today”.

“Although not seriously hurt, this is a gross violation of obligations to protect diplomats under the Vienna Convention. Aidan is an outstanding Irish and European diplomat who is serving the EU under the most difficult circumstances.

“We thank him for his service and call for an urgent cessation of violence in Sudan, and resumption of dialogue.”

The Department of Foreign Affairs said it had been in contact with Mr O’Hara on Monday evening.

Fighting between rival military factions has been continuing in recent days with more than 200 people believed to have been killed and around 2,000 estimated to have been injured.

Emmet Malone

Emmet Malone

Emmet Malone is Work Correspondent at The Irish Times