Look: UAE flight with over 100 evacuees from Sudan arrives in Abu Dhabi

The humanitarian mission prioritised the evacuation of women, children, elderly and those who are sick


Angel Tesorero


Afkar Ali Ahmed

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Top Stories

Photos by Neeraj Murali
Photos by Neeraj Murali

Published: Sat 29 Apr 2023, 5:21 PM

Last updated: Sat 29 Apr 2023, 11:27 PM

The first batch of evacuees that the UAE had flown from conflict-stricken Sudan arrived in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.

A total of 128 individuals from 16 countries — including the UAE, Bahrain, UK, Iraq, Serbia, Pakistan, Syria, Sudan, Indonesia, US, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Yemen, Tanzania, Ireland and Bangladesh — were on the flight that landed at 2.45pm from Port Sudan.

The humanitarian mission prioritised the evacuation of women, children, elderly and those who are sick.

In a statement shared with Khaleej Times, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (Mofaic) said: “The success of the evacuation carried out by the UAE is part of our humanitarian efforts and commitment to strengthening global cooperation and solidarity.

“This comes in continuation of our humanitarian approach in providing protection for civilians and extending a helping hand to countries in times of need."

Around 300 individuals of 19 nationalities were evacuated by the UAE Government from Khartoum to the city of Port Sudan. A second batch of evacuees is expected to arrive in Abu Dhabi soon, Mofaic confirmed to Khaleej Times.

'Could not hold back tears'

A sense of relief, comfort. and reassurance was evident on the faces of the passengers as they stepped out of the private plane that landed on the tarmac of Abu Dhabi Terminal 2.

A young mother who was carrying a toddler gave a wide smile as she walked down the stairs, warmly welcomed by a line of ambassadors, diplomats, Mofaic officials, staff, volunteers, and journalists.

An elderly woman was not able to hold back her tears as she received a hug and white and red roses from an Emirates Red Crescent volunteer.

Renewed comfort can be seen even in the faces of young children who were able to run freely as their parents waited at the passport control area.

A boy holding a water bottle smiled in front of the cameras while a five-year-old Sudanese named Hamed waved a pair of roses and beamed a toothy grin with a thought – as mentioned by his parents – that the violence is now behind them.

Many, if not all of the evacuees, have left Sudan with no possessions except basic essentials. They said the fighting has caused a huge humanitarian crisis as they ran out of fundamental needs like water, food, and medicine. Bearing the brunt of the conflict, they had to endure long hours of travelling by land from the capital city to a sanctuary in Port Sudan.

‘We now feel safe'

Fierce fighting between Sudan's army and paramilitaries entered a third week, with warplanes on bombing raids drawing heavy anti-aircraft fire over Khartoum on Saturday.

More than 500 people have been killed since battles erupted on April 15 between the forces of army chief Abdel Fattah Al Burhan and his number two Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, who commands the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF).

Serbian siblings Ayman and Khaled Salah said that almost every day, they were woken up from their sleep at 4am with the staccato of firing rifles and booming rocket launchers.

The Salah brothers were evacuated to the UAE with their mother Sylvia. They said: “We were not able to celebrate Eid. We only survived because we stayed at home.”

“But now we feel safe,” said the brothers and their mother, who were part of the six-bus convoy that travelled intermittently for 32 hours from Khartoum to Port Sudan.

“We are in deep gratitude to the UAE for facilitating our evacuation and for their warm hospitality,” they added.

Dr Danica Savocic, chargé d'affaires at the Serbian Embassy, also thanked the UAE for evacuating two Serbian families.

She said: “On behalf of our President, Aleksandar Vučić, and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ivica Dačić, I would like to thank the UAE leaders for their humanitarian efforts and for providing our citizens safe travel and accommodation. This is a strong indication of the strong bilateral relationship between the UAE and Serbia.”

Amid the conflict, Mofaic underscored “the UAE's commitment to working with its partners and the international community to achieve all that serves the interests of the Sudanese people, stressing the importance of intensifying efforts aimed at a ceasefire, promoting a return to the agreed political framework and dialogue, and advancing in the transitional phase to foster political stability and security in Sudan.”


More news from UAE