Moment plane carrying British nationals escaping Sudan lands at Stansted Airport

The UN has warned of “immense suffering for years” in Sudan as the first Britons evacuated from the war zone landed back in the UK.

The UN secretary general, António Guterres warned prolonged fighting in Sudan could cause “years of immense suffering,” and that the conflict could not be resolved on the battlefield.

The comments come as more than 300 Britons have been evacuated from Sudan as the military races against time to bring people to safety before a 72-hour ceasefire ends.

The first plane landed at Stansted Airport at around 2.30pm from Lanarca, Cyprus. There were children on the flight, a Foreign Office spokesperson said.

The warring factions in Sudan agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire starting on Tuesday. The Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) said the US and Saudi Arabia mediated the truce.

The UK has said it will pursue “all avenues” to help British citizens still trapped in Khartoum.

With around 4,000 UK citizens possibly stranded amid deadly street fighting and a shortage of food, water and electricity, the government is pursuing “all diplomatic avenues” in removing British nationals from Sudan, Downing Street said.

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UN warns of ‘immense suffering for years’ as first Britons land back in UK

The UN has warned of “immense suffering for years” in Sudan as the first Britons land back in UK.

The UN secretary general, António Guterres warned prolonged fighting in Sudan could cause “years of immense suffering,” and that the conflict could not be resolved on the battlefield.

The comments come as more than 300 Britons have been evacuated from Sudan as the military races against time to bring people to safety before a 72-hour ceasefire ends.

The first plane landed at Stansted Airport at around 2.30pm from Lanarca, Cyprus. There were children on the flight, a Foreign Office spokesperson said.

However, No.10 has confirmed only British passport holders and their dependents are being evacuated – meaning some NHS doctors stranded in Sudan who are non-British and visa holders will not be able to seek safety.

The warring factions in Sudan have agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire starting on Tuesday, while Western, Arab and Asian nations raced to evacuate their citizens from the country.

The Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) said the US and Saudi Arabia mediated the truce.

The UK has said it will pursue “all avenues” to help British citizens still trapped in Khartoum.

With around 4,000 UK citizens possibly stranded amid deadly street fighting and a shortage of food, water and electricity, the government is pursuing “all diplomatic avenues” in removing British nationals from Sudan, Downing Street said.

Martha Mchardy26 April 2023 16:58

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Wounded British doctor’s agonising choice in Sudan

A British doctor is facing an agonising choice between risking a deadly infection from his gunshot wound and leaving his vulnerable elderly mother to fend for herself in a war zone in Sudan.

The doctor, who retired recently after working in the NHS for over 30 years, was visiting his family in Khartoum for Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr when fierce clashes between forces loyal to the country’s two top generals erupted in the city on 15 April.

He was shot in the leg when he “risked his life” moving his daughter and 87-year-old mother, who requires constant care, to a safer place in Khartoum.

Martha Mchardy26 April 2023 20:30

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Watch: Sunak asked if UK will provide safe route for children fleeing Sudan

Sunak asked if UK will provide safe route for children fleeing Sudan

Martha Mchardy26 April 2023 20:00

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Canadian aircraft positioned for evacuations once conditions permit in Sudan – Defence minister

Canada has positioned two C-130 Hercules aircraft near Sudan to evacuate Canadians from the North African country once conditions on the ground permit, defence minister Anita Anand said on Wednesday.

“There are conditions that we are monitoring very closely, one of which is the space at the airport, another is to ensure that Canadians are able to get to the airport in a secure manner,” Ms Anand told reporters in Ottawa.

Martha Mchardy26 April 2023 19:48

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Evacuees from Sudan land in Paris

Some 245 evacuees from Sudan, including 195 French nationals, landed in Paris on Wednesday, expressing relief at escaping the heavy fighting and chaos.

Sudan erupted in warfare on April 15, derailing a transition to civilian rule, since when the paramilitaries have embedded themselves in residential districts and the army has sought to target them from the air.

The fighting has turned residential areas into battlefields. Air strikes and artillery have killed more than 500 people, wounded more than 4,000, destroyed hospitals and limited food distribution in a nation where a third of the 46 million people rely on food aid.

“The past few weeks, we felt a rise in inter-community tensions with looting, carjacks, shootings between communities,” humanitarian worker Charline Petitejean told Reuters at the Paris headquarters of her NGO Solidaritas International.

The 27-year-old had been working for three months in Sudan but arrived back in Paris Wednesday morning.

“When the decision was made to evacuate, there were so many things that needed to be done that there was no time for fear”, she said, adding that now she was in France she was worried for her Sudanese colleagues who stayed and “for the Sudanese people as the humanitarian context worsens”.

She said she would like to return to Dafur as soon as possible.

Several countries have evacuated nationals by air, while some have gone via Port Sudan on the Red Sea, about 800 km (500 miles) by road from Khartoum.

“I felt completely paralysed,” said 28-year-old PhD student Leila Oulkebous, another evacuee. Oulkebous was out doing thesis interviews when fighting broke out nearby.

“I didn’t know how to get out…,” she said. “I’m very, very relieved. (…) I will continue to have nightmares about it.”

Franck Haaser, cooperation councillor at the French Embassy in Sudan, was relieved that there were no deaths among those evacuated.

“We lived through a week of chaos … it was very difficult,” he said.

“The shooting was all across the city. We didn’t directly see the shooting, but with the intensity of the fighting, there were stray bullets everywhere, broken windows in all buildings, it was chaos. Chaos.”

Martha Mchardy26 April 2023 19:45

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British nationals face dangerous journeys to Sudan evacuation site

British nationals in Khartoum are facing dangerous journeys to the Wadi Saeedna airstrip in the hope of boarding an evacuation flight out of Sudan.

One Sudanese-British citizen said some people are too scared to make the trip as another described “complete chaos” on the streets.

Eight flights were expected to have left by the end of Wednesday to lift people to safety as the military races against time to rescue citizens while a fragile ceasefire holds.

Martha Mchardy26 April 2023 19:30

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Braverman appears to rule out safe and legal routes for refugees from Sudan

Suella Braverman has appeared to rule out introducing safe and legal routes to the UK for refugees trying to escape the conflict in Sudan.

The Home Secretary confirmed on Tuesday the Government has “no plans” to consider making provisions for civilians from the war-torn country to access Britain.

During a visit to Northamptonshire, Ms Braverman was asked about the prospect of turning efforts towards helping those trying to flee Khartoum once the evacuation of British nationals has been completed.

Martha Mchardy26 April 2023 19:00

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Sudanese crowd at borders to escape amid shaky truce

Sudanese families were massing at a border crossing with Egypt and at a main port on Wednesday, desperately trying to escape their country’s violence and sometimes waiting for days with little food or shelter, witnesses said.

In the capital, Khartoum, the intensity of fighting eased on the second day of a three-day truce.

Taking advantage of relative calm, many residents in Khartoum and the neighbouring city of Omdurman emerged from their homes to seek food and water, lining up at bakeries or grocery stores, after days of being trapped inside by the fighting between the army and a rival paramilitary group.

Some inspected shops or homes that had been destroyed or looted.“There is a sense of calm in my area and neighbourhoods,” said Mahasen Ali, a tea vendor who lives in Khartoum’s southern neighbourhood of May. “But all are afraid of what’s next.

”Still, gunfire and explosions could be heard in the city, though residents said clashes were in more limited pockets, mainly around the military’s headquarters and the Republican Palace in central Khartoum and around bases in Omdurman across the Nile River.

Martha Mchardy26 April 2023 18:30

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British military assures Sudan evacuations can continue even if ceasefire breaks

Air evacuations of British nationals from an airfield near Sudan’s capital can continue even if the fragile ceasefire breaks, military chiefs have assured.

More than 300 people have been airlifted from Wadi Saeedna airstrip near Khartoum since the pause in fierce fighting was agreed but thousands more may need help fleeing.

Brigadier Dan Reeve, chief of joint force operations, the RAF can move 500 people per day on five aircrafts but that could be increased by calling on more, or larger, planes.

Martha Mchardy26 April 2023 18:00

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In pictures: First British nationals arrive in UK from Sudan

Evacuees, believed to be British nationals, arrive at Stansted Airport following evacuation from Sudan

(REUTERS)

(REUTERS)

Wahied and Fatima Hassan, evacuees from Halfaya near Khartoum, Sudan, pose for a picture

(REUTERS)

(REUTERS)

(REUTERS)

(PA)

(PA)

Martha Mchardy26 April 2023 17:30

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