UK evacuations from Sudan could be ‘impossible’ once ceasefire ends, Cleverly warns

The warring factions in Sudan have agreed to a three-day extension to a ceasefire, as the UK confirmed that almost 900 Britons have been evacuated from the country.

Sudan‘s paramilitary Rapid Support Forces and Sudanese military agreed to the 72-hour ceasefire on Thursday. The truce and its extension had been brokered by the United States and Saudi Arabia.

It comes just hours after the UK said it was “pushing hard” for an extension to the ceasefire in Sudan to get more Britons home.

James Cleverly told the MPs in the House of Commons: “With regard to an extension of the ceasefire, we are pushing hard for that and we are amplifying the voices of those in the region, and more widely, that this is in the best interests of Sudan.

“I would say here at the despatch box for either of the generals who might be watching this statement, that if they aspire to be the leader of Sudan, demonstrating a willingness to protect the people of Sudan would be a very important starting point.”

As of 4pm on Thursday, the Foreign Office said that 897 people had been evacuated from Sudan over eight RAF airlifts.

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Warring factions agree to 72 hour ceasefire extension

Sudan‘s paramilitary Rapid Support Forces have agreed to a three-day extension to a ceasefire in Sudan.

The Sudanese military accepted the deal earlier on Thursday. The truce and its extension had been brokered by the United States and Saudi Arabia.

The existing truce, which was to expire at midnight Thursday, has not stopped the fighting between the two sides but created enough of a lull for tens of thousands of Sudanese to flee to safer areas and for foreign nations to evacuate hundreds of their citizens by land and sea.

Joe Middleton27 April 2023 21:34

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Why the US evacuation from Sudan left Americans behind

Warring factions trying to seize control of Sudan have plunged the east African nation into chaos, and thousands are fleeing the capital of Khartoum and nearby battle zones.

Some countries, including the US, have shuttered their embassies and many are coordinating daring evacuations of their staffs and other residents in an array of convoys, flights and frantic getaway drives.

But over the past week, there have been dramatically different responses by various governments as they try to get their citizens and embassy personnel to safety.

The US has come under scrutiny for evacuating roughly 70 embassy staff in a helicopter mission by elite SEAL commandos over the weekend, while warning thousands of private American citizens in

Sudan that there would be no similar evacuation for them.

Shweta Sharma28 April 2023 09:00

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Fears grow for 3,000 Indian citizens trapped in Sudan: ‘I just want my wife and children rescued. Please help’

Indian citizens stranded in conflict-ridden Sudan have desperately appealed for help and expressed their exasperation at the situation on the ground, with evacuations still yet to begin despite their home country dispatching a warship and two airforce planes to the region.

India has one of the largest contingents of foreign nationals still inside Sudan, with about 3,000 of its citizens believed to be stranded in the country that was last week thrust into civil conflict.

The families of these Indian nationals have appealed to the Narendra Modi administration on social media for their safe return. Speaking to The Independent, relatives back home expressed their anguish and worries over the wellbeing of their loved ones, and pleaded with the government for their swift and safe return.

Shweta Sharma28 April 2023 08:30

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Sudan’s health system on brink of collapse – diplomat

Sudan’s health system is on the brink of collapse, a top diplomat has warned.

Agnes Oswaha, South Sudan’s ambassador to the UK, also expressed fears of a refugee crisis should the fighting erupt again.

She said she hoped the ceasefire between the warring factions could continue.

Matt Mathers28 April 2023 08:15

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Britons among thousands queuing for days without food and water amid chaos at Egypt-Sudan border

The Britons became trapped in Khartoum when ferocious fighting between Sudan’s top generals erupted and they were forced to make the treacherous journey to the border where dire conditions awaited them.

Dr Lina Badr, 42, an NHS gynaecologist based in Birmingham, and her three children have been waiting in the queue for two days. She described chaos as thousands of desperate people wait to cross into Egypt in the heat with no way of securing food or water.

Shweta Sharma28 April 2023 08:00

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How is the UK evacuating people from Sudan?

The first British nationals were evacuated from conflict-torn Sudan on Tuesday.

A 72-hour ceasefire between warring factions has provided a window for foreign nationals to escape a “dangerous, volatile and unpredictable” situation, according to prime minister Rishi Sunak.

Several previous ceasefires declared since the fighting started on 15 April were not observed, reported the Associated Press.

Here is a look at what we know about the evacuation plans so far.

Shweta Sharma28 April 2023 07:30

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ICYMI: Ceasefire extended in Sudan in boost for British evacuation mission

Britain’s evacuation mission from Sudan may have been bought more time after the rival forces agreed a three-day extension to their ceasefire.

The RAF has airlifted nearly 900 people from near the capital Khartoum as they raced to evacuate British nationals ahead of midnight, when the resumption of fierce fighting loomed.

Matt Mathers28 April 2023 07:20

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White House press secretary quizzed on slow evacuation of Americans

White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre was asked why the US has still not taken advantage of the ceasefire to evacuate its citizens while the other countries are rushing evacuation from conflict-ridden Sudan.

“What is different about your risk assessment right now or security assessment than what other countries are looking at as they’ve gone in and gotten their people out?” a reporter asked during a White House briefing.

In what appeared to be a vague answer, Ms Jean-Pierre said the government has been pretty clear about the situation in Sudan for the past several months and years.

“As I just mentioned, there are consular services, a consular team that’s there, that’s trying to help Americans who want to leave in any way that we can,” she said.

She said the US had deployed intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance assets to support air and land evacuations routes.

“That is something that we have done and which Americans are indeed using.”

While embassy staff was airlifted out, the US has yet not listed out a plan to provide similar evacuations for potentially thousands of Americans still in Sudan.

Shweta Sharma28 April 2023 07:00

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Nigeran government reacts after viral videos shows students stranded in the middle of desert

Nigeria’s government has said buses evacuating its citizens from Sudan have resumed their journey after some distraught Nigerians alleged they were stranded in the middle of the desert by the bus.

The viral video showed a student saying “the buses evacuating Nigerian students and non-students stopped in the middle of the Sahara and the drivers refused to continue the journey because they had not been paid”.

“We have been stuck in this desert for five hours, we don’t know where we are, we have no money, no food, and we are in an unknown environment with very big danger. The bus driver said they will not move the bus until they collect money,” the student said in the video.

Abike Dabiri, the chairman of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), responded to the video by assuring the situation was resolved.

“They have started moving again. Whatever issues they have has been resolved,” she said.

Shweta Sharma28 April 2023 06:30

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Status of people evacuated by countries from Sudan

US forces evacuated American and some foreign diplomats on tomorrow. Washington said on Monday that several dozen Americans were travelling overland in a UN-led convoy to Port Sudan, and that dozens more had expressed an interest in leaving. It said it was positioning naval assets to assist evacuations if necessary.

Russia has not yet announced any evacuation of its embassy or its nationals from Khartoum. Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said the Russians in Sudan were in close contact with Moscow. “Cooperation and consultations are going on round the clock, and various possibilities are being examined. For now, no decision has been taken.”

All Japanese people who wished to leave have been evacuated, prime minister Fumio Kishida said.

Forty-five left on Monday night on a Japanese military flight, and eight others left with the help of France and other groups, he said.

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

China said most Chinese nationals have been safely evacuated in groups to neighbouring countries.

The foreign ministry said between Tuesday and Thursday, nearly 800 people have been transferred by sea and more than 300 have travelled to neighbouring countries of Sudan by land. There have been no casualty reports so far, the ministry said.

More than 1,200 Indians evacuated from Sudan had arrived in Jeddah in Saudi Arabia as of yesterday, 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 yesterday, airlifting over 100 hundred people, including Canadians and other nationals, on two flights from the war-torn North African country, senior government officials said.

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.

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 yesterday the government had evacuated 342 people who had arrived in Jeddah in Saudi Arabia from Port Sudan.

Shweta Sharma28 April 2023 06:15

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