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Countries rush to evacuate foreign citizens from Sudan

The conflict between Sudan’s army and a paramilitary group called the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) has triggered a rush to extract foreign diplomats and citizens.

Several countries have evacuated nationals by air, while some have gone via Port Sudan on the Red Sea, about 800 km by road from Khartoum.

This is the status of some countries’ efforts:

Egypt has evacuated a total of 5327 Egyptians, 2648 of which were evacuated on Thursday. In a separate statement on Thursday, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said some 16 000 people have crossed from Sudan to Egypt, including 14 000 Sudanese citizens.

As of Tuesday morning, a German evacuation mission had brought a total of 500 people from more than 30 countries to safety, including Belgian, British, Dutch, Jordanian and US citizens as well as Germans. Berlin said its flights would end on Tuesday.

The French government said on Thursday that it had so far evacuated a total of 936 people from Sudan. The foreign ministry said those evacuated included not only French nationals but also Britons, Americans, Canadians, Ethiopians, Dutch, Italians and Swedes.

The United Nations Secretary-General thanked France for its “vital assistance in transporting 400 UN personnel and their dependents out of Sudan. The French Navy carried 350 from Port Sudan to Jeddah, in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday night, while more than 70 were flown aboard a French Air Force transport plane to N’Djamena in Chad from El Fasher in Sudan on Thursday.

Italian military planes flying from Djibouti evacuated 83 Italians and 13 others overnight, including children and the Italian ambassador.

Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani said some Italian NGO workers and missionaries had decided to stay in Sudan, while 19 others had been taken to Egypt two days ago.

Britain said it had begun a “large-scale” evacuation of its nationals on Tuesday, with priority given to families with children, the elderly and the infirm. Its first evacuation flight left and two more were expected overnight.

It had evacuated 897 people on eight UK flights as of 1500GMT on Thursday with more flights to come.
The government estimates there are about 4 000 Britons in Sudan. It evacuated its diplomats and their families on Saturday.

Cyprus said it had activated a humanitarian rescue mechanism at Britain’s request to let third countries use it for the reception and repatriation of foreign citizens evacuated from Sudan. Cyprus is home to two large British military bases.

About 100 Dutch nationals have been evacuated from Sudan since Sunday, Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra said.

Half left on four Dutch evacuation flights to Jordan, which also carried about 70 people from 14 other countries.
The Netherlands aims to evacuate a total of around 150 Dutch nationals, and has supplied two military planes to the international effort, which are also available for other nationalities.

US forces evacuated American and some foreign diplomats on Saturday. Washington said on Monday that several dozen Americans were travelling overland in a UN-led convoy to Port Sudan, and that dozens more had expressed an interest in leaving. It said it was positioning naval assets to assist evacuations if necessary.

Russia has not yet announced any evacuation of its embassy or its nationals from Khartoum. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the Russians in Sudan were in close contact with Moscow. “Cooperation and consultations are going on round the clock and various possibilities are being examined. For now, no decision has been taken.”

All Japanese people who wished to leave have been evacuated, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said.
Forty-five left on Monday night on a Japanese military flight, and eight others left with the help of France and other groups, he said.

Switzerland has already shut its embassy and evacuated all Swiss staff and their families.

China said most Chinese nationals have been safely evacuated in groups to neighbouring countries. The defence ministry deployed naval ships to pick up and evacuate citizens on Wednesday.

The foreign ministry said between Tuesday and Thursday, nearly 800 people have been transferred by sea and more than 300 have travelled to neighbouring countries of Sudan by land. There have been no casualty reports so far, the ministry said.

The Chinese consulate-general in Jeddah issued a notice on Wednesday advising citizens who planned to evacuate to Saudi Arabia to enter through the Jeddah Islamic Port.

More than 1 200 Indians evacuated from Sudan had arrived in Jeddah in Saudi Arabia as of Thursday, and would soon be repatriated to India, the country’s junior foreign minister V Muraleedharan said.

Canada conducted its first evacuation operation in Sudan on Thursday, airlifting over 100 people, including Canadians and other nationals, on two flights from the war-torn North African country, senior government officials said.

Canada would deploy about 200 troops to coordinate evacuations from war-torn Sudan, Canadian Defence Minister Anita Anand said on Wednesday. About 180 Canadians had already been evacuated with the help of other countries.

There are about 1 800 Canadians in Sudan, out of which about 700 have requested assistance from the foreign ministry, according to the Canadian government.

Ukraine said it had rescued 87 of its citizens – most of them pilots, aircraft technicians and their families – among a total of 138 civilians, who also included citizens of Georgia and Peru.

Kenya’s foreign affairs ministry said on Thursday the government had evacuated 342 people who had arrived in Jeddah in Saudi Arabia from Port Sudan.

South Africa said it expected the last 12 of its nationals known to be in Sudan to have left on Tuesday.

Source: SABC

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