Countries rush to evacuate foreign citizens from Sudan

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KHARTOUM, April 25 (Reuters) – The conflict between Sudan’s army and a paramilitary group called the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) has triggered a rush to evacuate foreign diplomats and citizens.

Several countries have taken nationals out by air, while some have gone via Port Sudan on the Red Sea, about 800 km (500 miles) by road from Khartoum. This is the status of some countries’ efforts:


U.S. forces evacuated American and some foreign diplomats on April 22.

A convoy organized by the U.S. government arrived at a Sudanese port city on Saturday, evacuating U.S. citizens, local staff and others, a U.S. State Department spokesperson said.

Washington has previously said it was positioning naval assets to assist evacuations if necessary.


Britain said it has evacuated 1,888 people, mostly British nationals and their dependents, on 21 flights since Tuesday. The government decided the last evacuation flight would leave on Saturday evening, citing a decline in demand from British nationals and continued volatility on the ground.

The government had estimated there were about 4,000 Britons in Sudan. It evacuated its diplomats and their families on April 22.

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


Egypt has evacuated a total of 6,399 Egyptians, 1,072 of whom were evacuated on Friday. The Egyptian Foreign Ministry said on Thursday some 16,000 people had crossed from Sudan to Egypt, including 14,000 Sudanese citizens.


Germany said on Wednesday it had ended its operation to evacuate people from Sudan, with over 700 people flown out of the country, including around 200 German citizens. Germany’s evacuation mission brought out people from more than 30 countries, including Belgian, British, Dutch, Jordanian and U.S. citizens as well as Germans.


The French government said on Thursday that it had so far evacuated a total of 936 people from Sudan. Those 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 U.N. personnel and their dependents out of Sudan.


Italian military planes flying from Djibouti evacuated 83 Italians and 13 others, 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.


About 100 Dutch nationals have been evacuated from Sudan since April 23, 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.


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


The United Arab Emirates evacuated its citizens, other nationalities and humanitarian cases from Sudan by plane on Saturday. Around 128 evacuees, including British and U.S. citizens, landed in the capital Abu Dhabi.


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.


All Japanese people who wished to leave have been evacuated, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said.


A further 363 Indonesian citizens evacuated from Sudan arrived home on Sunday on a second flight by the country’s flag carrier Garuda Indonesia, the country’s foreign ministry said.

A first group of Indonesian evacuees arrived back in the country on Friday, and a total of 748 citizens have been evacuated from Sudan as of Sunday.


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 were transferred by sea and more than 300 travelled to neighbouring countries by land.

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.


Chad conducted its first evacuation flights from Sudan carrying more than 200 people, including dozens of children, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said on Friday.


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 arrived in Jeddah in Saudi Arabia from Port Sudan.


Iran’s foreign ministry said on Saturday 65 Iranian citizens had left from Port Sudan, through Jeddah, to Iran.

Photo: Soldiers of the Sudan evacuation unit of German Armed Forces Bundeswehr leave an Airbus A400M transport aircraft after they arrived at the military air base in Wunstorf near Hanover, Germany, 28 April 2023. The German government has completed the evacuation of German citizens from Sudan, as heavy armed clashes between the country’s military and rival paramilitary groups have occurred in the capital Khartoum and other parts of the country since 15 April 2023. EPA-EFE/FILIP SINGER

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