A deserted street is pictured in Khartoum on May 1, 2023 as deadly clashes between rival generals' forces have entered third week. Image Credit: AFP

Cairo: Saudi Arabia has said that Sudanese expatriates stuck in the homeland due to fighting there can have their iqamas or residency permits renewed electronically.

The kingdom’s General Directorate of Passports said the renewal can be conducted via e-services in the Saudi apps Absher or Moqeem enabling expatriates’ iqama renewal without their presence inside Saudi Arabia after paying due fees. The expatriate’s ID card validity should not be less than 90 days.

Earlier this week, chief of the Saudi General Directorate of Passports Lt. Gen. Sulaiman Al Yahya said all foreigners evacuated from Sudan to Saudi Arabia without having an entry visa will get free visas and those who lost their documents will obtain alternatives to facilitate their movement and departure from the kingdom later.

Saudi Arabia has launched massive evacuations from strife-torn Sudan in recent days. A Saudi ship arrived in Jeddah Monday night with 41 Saudis and 171 foreign nationals of Afghanistan, the Philippines, Comoros, Sri Lanka, Ukraine, Madagascar, the UK, Syria and the UK, the kingdom’s Foreign Ministry said.

The latest arrivals raised to 5,409 the total of people evacuated so far from Sudan to Saudi Arabia. They included 225 Saudi citizens and 5,184 foreigners of 102 nationalities.

Sudan’s clashes erupted on April 15 in the capital Khartoum between the Sudanese army and the powerful paramilitary unit, the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), and soon spread to other cities of Sudan.

Each side blamed the other for igniting the violence, which has fanned fears of a wider conflict in the Northeast Africa and prompted international calls for de-escalation.

The fighting, now in its third week, has forced the exodus of tens of thousands from Sudan to neighbouring countries.