Sudan crisis: What foreign nations are doing to extract citizens

Rescue operations intensified on Tuesday as a 72-hour ceasefire took effect

By AFP

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Jordanian citizens and other nationals who were evacuated from Sudan, arrive at Marka Military Airport, in Amman. — Reuters
Jordanian citizens and other nationals who were evacuated from Sudan, arrive at Marka Military Airport, in Amman. — Reuters

Published: Wed 26 Apr 2023, 12:41 AM

Multiple nations have scrambled to evacuate embassy staff and citizens by road, air and sea from chaos-torn Sudan, where fighting between the army and paramilitaries has killed hundreds.

Rescue operations intensified on Tuesday as a 72-hour ceasefire took effect, but gunfire still rang out in Khartoum.

According to an AFP tally, more than 6,400 people have left Khartoum in the foreign-led evacuations. Here is an overview of what nations have done to get stranded citizens to safety.

Saudi Arabia led the first large-scale evacuations on Saturday by sea, and since then hundreds of Saudis and foreigners from more than 20 countries have been taken to the port city of Jeddah.

The UAE said it had "evacuated its citizens" to Port Sudan and was hosting people from 19 other countries who had been rescued.

Jordan on late Sunday airlifted nearly 350 people including Palestinians, Iraqis, Syrians and Germans to a military airport in the kingdom, and on Monday announced "20 Jordanians arrived" aboard a German plane.

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Egypt said 446 of its citizens left Sudan by land on Tuesday and another 189 were flown out, bringing to 1,539 the total number evacuated so far. More than 10,000 Egyptians were thought to live in Sudan.

More than 200 Moroccans reached Port Sudan in convoys organised by their embassy, Rabat said on Monday.

Mauritania said 101 citizens had also made it to the Red Sea port city.

Algeria, Tunisia and South Africa have also announced rescue operations.

Chad said it was sending planes to collect 438 citizens from Port Sudan.

Mali said on Tuesday that 55 citizens had arrived at Sudan's border with Ethiopia and another group of 14 people was on its way there.

Kenya, with about 3,000 citizens in Sudan, evacuated 38 Kenyans, Somalis and a Saudi national, who landed in Nairobi on Monday night.

Nigeria plans to get nearly 3,000 nationals, mostly students, out by convoy to Egypt this week, an official said Monday.

Uganda has evacuated more than 200 nationals on buses via Ethiopia, its ambassador told AFP.

Ivory Coast said 47 citizens were headed by bus from Khartoum to Cairo.

US military helicopters on Sunday collected just under 100 people from the embassy on the southern edge of Khartoum.

The Pentagon said on Monday officials were looking into potential land routes out of Sudan for US citizens.

Canada's diplomatic staff left with the Americans, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his country is "looking at doing direct airlifts" of Canadians and dependants, about 550 of whom want to leave.

Britain said the first flight to evacuate its nationals had left Sudan on Tuesday and would be followed by at least two more overnight, after an operation on Sunday to take out embassy staff.

Around 4,000 Britons with dual nationality and 400 with UK-only passports are in Sudan, according to the British government.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said on Monday that 1,000 EU citizens had been evacuated.

Germany has been leading international coordination for the evacuations out of an airbase near Khartoum.

France evacuated 538 people, President Emmanuel Macron said, with French citizens just over one-third of them.

Ukraine said on Tuesday it had evacuated to Egypt 138 people, including 87 of its own citizens.

The Netherlands said "around 100 Dutch citizens have been evacuated, half of them on Dutch flights", which also carried 70 others.

Italy evacuated around 200 people in a military operation Sunday, rescuing all Italian citizens who "had asked to leave" and others including Vatican representatives.

A Spanish military plane with 100 passengers, 30 of them Spanish, left Sunday for Djibouti, Madrid said.

A first group of 17 Greek nationals arrived Tuesday in Athens on a military transport plane via Djibouti, the defence ministry said.

Austria, Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania said citizens had been evacuated with foreign help.

China said on Monday it had "safely evacuated" a first group of citizens, estimating about 1,500 "Chinese compatriots" were in Sudan.

India also announced a successful rescue mission on Monday.

Pakistan said a convoy carrying 211 of its citizens arrived in Port Sudan on Tuesday, bringing the total number of Pakistanis evacuated to 700, with about 1,500 still in Sudan.

Japan has evacuated 45 citizens including diplomats aboard a military plane via Djibouti.

A plane carrying 28 South Koreans arrived in Jeddah on Monday, a Saudi official said.

Indonesia said it had moved 538 nationals to Port Sudan, with another 289 due to travel in a second phase. Malaysia said 30 nationals had arrived in Port Sudan on Tuesday.

The Philippines, with about 700 citizens in Sudan, said on Tuesday 50 were travelling overland to Egypt from Khartoum.

"We will do what we can," said foreign affairs official Eduardo de Vega. "It's very difficult."


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