Countries Begin To Evacuate Citizens As Khartoum Sudan Battles Rage
Foreign countries have rushed to evacuate their nationals from Sudan as deadly fighting rages into a second week between forces loyal to two rival generals. Evacuation flights are continuing, with hundreds of people flown out overnight on military aircraft.
More than 420 people have been killed and thousands wounded, according to UN figures, amid fears of wider turmoil and a humanitarian disaster in one of the world’s poorest nations.
US special forces launched a rescue mission Sunday for around 100 embassy staff and their relatives, swooping in with Chinook helicopters to fly them to a military base in Djibouti.
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said UK forces had also rescued diplomats and their families, while Canada has temporarily suspended its evacuation operation.
Germany and France also said they had begun evacuating their nationals and those from other countries. Two French planes carrying around 200 people of multiple nationalities landed in Djibouti, while the German army said it had evacuated 101 people on the first of three military aircraft sent to Sudan. Italy evacuated about 300 people in total, according to their foreign ministries.
Egypt, Sudan’s large neighbor to the north, said it had evacuated 436 nationals by land. Long convoys of UN vehicles and buses were seen leaving Khartoum heading east to Port Sudan on the Red Sea, carrying “citizens from all over the world”, according to one Sierra Leonean evacuee.
The fighting broke out on April 15 between forces loyal to army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and his deputy turned rival Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, who commands the powerful paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF).
Daglo’s RSF emerged from the Janjaweed fighters whom former leader Omar al-Bashir unleashed in the Darfur region, where they were accused of war crimes including genocide.