Sudan's Army Says It Will Help US Diplomats Escape

Other US citizens urged to shelter in place as fighting rages
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 22, 2023 6:32 AM CDT
Sudan's Army Plans Evacuations of Diplomats
Smoke fills the sky in Khartoum, Sudan, near Doha International Hospital on Friday, April 21, 2023.   (Maheen S via AP)

The Sudanese army said Saturday it was coordinating efforts to evacuate diplomats from the United States, Britain, China, and France out of the country on military airplanes, as fighting persisted in the capital, including at its main airport. The military said that army chief Gen. Abdel Fattah Burhan had spoken to leaders of various countries requesting safe evacuations of their citizens and diplomats from Sudan, the AP reports. The country has been roiled by bloody fighting for the past week that has killed over 400 people so far, according to the World Health Organization.

Foreign countries have struggled in vain to repatriate their citizens, a task deemed far too risky as clashes between the Sudanese army and a rival powerful paramilitary group have raged in and around Khartoum, including in residential areas. The main international airport, near the center of the capital, has been the target of heavy shelling as the paramilitary group known as the Rapid Support Forces, has tried to take control of the complex, complicating evacuation plans. With Sudan's airspace closed, foreign countries have ordered their citizens to simply shelter in place until they can figure out evacuation plans.

Burhan said that some diplomats from Saudi Arabia had already been evacuated from Port Sudan, the country’s main seaport on the Red Sea.Earlier this week, the Pentagon said it was moving additional troops and equipment to a Naval base in the tiny Gulf of Aden nation of Djibouti to prepare for the possible evacuation of US Embassy personnel from Sudan. On Friday, the US said it had no plans for a government-coordinated evacuation of an estimated 16,000 American citizens trapped in Sudan, and continued to urge Americans in Sudan to shelter in place.

(More Sudan stories.)

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