Heavy smoke billows above buildings in the vicinity of the Khartoum airport on April 15, 2023, amid clashes in the Sudanese capital.
– | Afp | Getty Images
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, which has been roiled by bloody fighting for the past week. Countries have struggled to repatriate their citizens amid deadly clashes that have killed over 400 people so far. With Sudan’s main international airport closed, foreign countries have ordered their citizens to simply shelter in place until they can figure out evacuation plans.
Burhan said that diplomats from Saudi Arabia had already been evacuated from Port Sudan and airlifted back to the kingdom. He said that Jordan’s diplomats would soon be evacuated in the same way.
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 U.S. Embassy personnel from Sudan.
The fighting between the Sudanese military and a powerful paramilitary group called the Rapid Support Forces has raged around the airport, a sprawling complex near the center of the capital, complicating evacuation plans.
On Friday, the U.S. 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.