EU will keep pushing for settlement in Sudan, Borrell says

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LUXEMBOURG, April 24 (Reuters) – The European Union will keep working for a political settlement to the conflict in Sudan despite the recent evacuation of diplomatic staff and other EU citizens from the country, the bloc’s top diplomat Josep Borrell said on Monday.

“We have to continue pushing for a political settlement. We cannot afford that Sudan implodes because it would send shockwaves throughout the whole of Africa,” Borrell said before a meeting with EU foreign ministers.

Borrell added that the EU’s ambassador to Sudan was still in the country.

“The captain is the last one leaving the ship. He is in Sudan but no longer in Khartoum,” Borrell said.

A German air force plane with 101 people evacuated from Sudan landed in Berlin early on Monday, as countries rushed to extract their citizens from Khartoum amid a deadly power struggle between the army and a paramilitary force.

Sweden said that all its embassy staff in Khartoum, their families and an unspecified number of other Swedes had been evacuated to nearby Djibouti.

Swedish military planes and personnel would continue to help in the evacuation of foreign nationals as long as the security situation allowed, the country said.

Sudan’s sudden slide into conflict between the army and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) has seen hundreds of people killed, and stranded thousands of foreigners, including diplomats and aid workers.

Several evacuations are by air. Others are via Port Sudan on the Red Sea, which is about 650 km (400 miles) northeast of Khartoum, but is about 800 km (500 miles) by road.

The fighting in Sudan has triggered a humanitarian crisis in the impoverished country, where millions of people have been left without access to basic services.

At least 420 people have been killed since the fighting broke out on April 15, four years after long-ruling autocrat Omar al-Bashir was toppled.

Photo: A handout photo made available by the Indonesian Embassy KBRI Khartoum shows a battle-damaged street in Khartoum, Sudan. EPA-EFE/Indonesian Embassy KBRI Khartoum

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