Nicosia: As continued fighting raises fears that Sudan could plunge deeper into chaos, foreign governments are scrambling to get their diplomats and other citizens safely out.
Most countries deployed military transport aircraft to fly people out, including France which used its airbase in neighbouring Djibouti for the airlift. The British government said it had launched a large-scale evacuation of its citizens from Sudan on Tuesday, after the North African country’s warring factions agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire.
Although some flights included people of various nationalities, here’s a country-by-country accounting of evacuation efforts based on information available so far:
White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said that Washington has begun facilitating the overland departure of private US citizens who want to leave Sudan with the use of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assets. Earlier, the US government told some 16,000 US citizens in Sudan that they need to fend for themselves and that there won’t be mass evacuations.
Some 1,200 British soldiers who were part of a military operation out of a key British air base on the east Mediterranean island of Cyprus helped evacuate around 30 UK diplomatic staff and their families out of Sudan.
Britain said military flights would depart from an airfield outside Khartoum, and would be open to those with British passports. Priority will be given to family groups with children, the elderly and individuals with medical conditions.
“The government has begun a large-scale evacuation of British passport holders from Sudan on RAF flights,” Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said on Twitter. On Monday, the government estimated around 4,000 British nationals were in Sudan.
Officials say France has evacuated 491 people, including citizens from 36 countries, on flights to Djibouti in the nearby Horn of Africa. They include 23 Sudanese citizens who were family members or had other links to foreigners being evacuated and 38 citizens of Niger. Another 36 were Irish citizens and nine were Americans. Others included three wounded individuals, the German ambassador and several other foreign ambassadors.
Four German military transport planes flew more than 400 people from Sudan to Jordan from where they’ll head to their home countries. German Foreign Minister Minister Annalena Baerbock said her country had evacuated citizens of 20 countries in addition to its own, and would try to continue doing so, even if the end of the ceasefire Monday could complicate the situation. The Austrian government said 27 people were Austrian citizens.
Canada’s foreign minister, Melanie Joly, says Ottawa is working with ``like-minded countries″ to help at least 1,600 citizens formally registered in Sudan flee the country. Canada suspended consular services in Sudan on Sunday, saying Canadian diplomats would ``temporarily work from a safe location outside the country.″
Italian Air Force C-130 transport aircraft airlifted some 200 people out of Khartoum airport Sunday evening and flew them to Djibouti. Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani said they included 140 Italians, some Swiss, other Europeans and personnel from the Vatican’s embassy in Khartoum.
Spain said it had evacuated approximately 172 people from the Sudanese capital to Djibouti so far, including 34 Spanish nationals and citizens of Argentina, Colombia, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Portugal and Poland.
SWEDEN & DENMARK
Sweden says 25 of its embassy staff and their families were among the 388 people that French aircraft airlifted to Djibouti. Denmark said 15 of its citizens were among the group.
Switzerland’s Foreign Ministry says French forces have evacuated 12 Swiss nationals to Djibouti and Egypt.
Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto tweeted that 10 Finns, including children, had been evacuated from Khartoum. He said efforts were underway to evacuate others still in the Sudanese capital.
Norway’s Ambassador to Sudan Endre Stiansen has tweeted that he and two colleagues are “in a safe place” outside Sudan.
Poland’s Foreign Ministry said 11 Poles – including the ambassador to Sudan, diplomatic staff and private citizens — have been evacuated as part of French and Spanish efforts.
A pair of Dutch air force C-130 Hercules have flown from Sudan to Jordan Monday carrying an undisclosed number of Dutch and other evacuees. Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren said in a tweet more flights were planned “in close cooperation with partners.”
Bulgaria’s Foreign Ministry says 21 Bulgarian nationals have been evacuated by land to Egypt or by air to Europe.
The Turkish government says it’s evacuating “hundreds” of its citizens by land to Ethiopia, from where they are scheduled to be flown to Istanbul.
Greece’s Foreign Ministry says 15 Greek nationals and their family members have been evacuated to Djibouti with the help of Italy.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida says eight Japanese, including embassy officials and their family, were airlifted from an air base in northern Khartoum by the French military. Japanese defense troops had already evacuated 45 others to nearby Djibouti.
The South African government says at least 77 South African nationals, including embassy staff, are on on their way out of the Sudanese capital.
Kenya’s Foreign Ministry says 29 Kenyan students have crossed into Ethiopia and are in route to Nairobi, while the air force has a transport plane ready to fly out 18 students now on the road to the South Sudan border. Another two aircraft are expected to ferry 300-400 Kenyans to Jeddah.
The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates says some 72 Palestinians have relocated to Port Sudan, while vehicle convoys are carrying about 200 Palestinians to Egypt.
About 500 Indians have reached Port Sudan under Operation Kaveri that has begun to evacuate nationals from Sudan.
“Operation Kaveri gets underway to bring back our citizens stranded in Sudan. About 500 Indians have reached Port Sudan. More on their way,” External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar tweeted.
“Our ships and aircraft are set to bring them back home. Committed to assist all our bretheren in Sudan,” he said.
South Korea says a bus transporting at least 28 of its nationals, including embassy staff, has entered Port Sudan’s international airport where a South Korean military aircraft awaits to fly them to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Some 343 Jordanian nationals evacuated from Port Sudan arrived at Amman military airport aboard four transport aircraft.
Egypt’s state-run MENA news agency says the country is urging the more than 10,000 Egyptian citizens in Sudan to head to Port Sudan and Wadi Halfa in the north for evacuation. Buses carrying an undisclosed number of Egyptian citizens crossed into Egypt from the Arqin border crossing on Monday.