HomeAfricaForeign nationals to be evacuated from Sudan as violence escalates

Foreign nationals to be evacuated from Sudan as violence escalates

  • IN BRIEF: The situation in Sudan is rapidly deteriorating, and the humanitarian crisis is escalating. The evacuation of foreign nationals from the country is a critical priority, but it is becoming increasingly difficult due to the ongoing violence and insecurity. The United Nations and several countries, including the United States, are working to move their staff and nationals to safer locations. However, the situation remains unpredictable and challenging, and the safety of those affected remains a significant concern.

The Sudan army has announced that it will evacuate foreign nationals, including those from the United States, the United Kingdom, France, and China, from the country, following the US military preparing options to evacuate the US Embassy in Sudan.

The move comes as forces commanded by two previously allied leaders of Sudan’s ruling council began a violent power struggle, resulting in hundreds of deaths and a humanitarian catastrophe. The airport in Khartoum has been caught in the fighting, and the skies are unsafe, making it difficult for nations to evacuate embassy staff. The United States has already repositioned its forces to Djibouti to prepare for possible evacuation of its diplomats.

The situation in Sudan is one of the most challenging evacuation scenarios, according to a Western diplomat, due to the ongoing civil war in the capital city and the embassy staff being in the middle of the fighting. Cameron Hudson, a U.S. Africa policy expert, also emphasized the unpredictability of the situation. The violence in Khartoum makes it challenging to move people to a safe space to evacuate them, he added.

The United Nations is also trying to extract staff from “very dangerous” zones in Sudan and move them to safer locations, according to Abdou Dieng, the top U.N. aid official in Sudan. The U.N. has about 4,000 staff in Sudan, 800 of which are international staff, with a further 6,000 U.N. staff family members and associated personnel in the country.

Switzerland and Sweden are examining ways to evacuate their nationals from Sudan, while Spanish military aircraft are on standby to evacuate some 60 Spanish nationals and others from Khartoum. South Korea has sent a military aircraft to stand by at a U.S. military base in Djibouti to evacuate its nationals when possible.

The State Department has confirmed the death of one U.S. citizen in the country, and Washington has said that private American citizens in Sudan should have no expectation of a U.S. government-coordinated evacuation. However, the United States is in touch with several hundred American citizens believed to be in Sudan.

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