Evacuation of Foreign Nationals from Sudan Amidst Ongoing Fighting

As the conflict in Sudan enters its second week, hundreds of people have been killed, and foreign embassies have been unable to bring their citizens home due to the closure of Khartoum's international airport. However, in a new development, the Sudanese army has agreed to facilitate and secure the evacuation of diplomats and nationals from the US, UK, France, and China "in the coming hours," according to a statement released by the army chief, Fattah al-Burhan. The ongoing power struggle between the army and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) has led to the current conflict, which started after disagreements between the leaders of both sides over how Sudan should be run. This article will provide more details on the evacuation plans and the ongoing conflict.

The evacuation plans were announced on Monday, April 24th, 2023, by the Sudanese army. The statement said that army chief Fattah al-Burhan agreed to facilitate and secure the evacuation of British, US, French, and Chinese nationals and diplomats by air on board military transport planes from the capital, Khartoum. The statement also mentioned that previous plans to evacuate foreign nationals have not been implemented because of safety concerns.

The ongoing conflict in Sudan started on April 15th, 2023, when street battles erupted in the capital, Khartoum, after disagreements emerged between the leaders of the army and the RSF over how Sudan should be run. The conflict has entered its second week, with both sides agreeing to a three-day ceasefire to mark the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr, starting from Friday, but this has not been effective in stopping the violence.

The closure of Khartoum's international airport has made it difficult for foreign embassies to evacuate their citizens. The US and UK embassies have urged their citizens to shelter in place and avoid unnecessary travel, while the French embassy has temporarily suspended its operations until further notice. 

Saudi Arabia has also announced that it is arranging the evacuation of Saudi citizens and nationals of "brotherly" countries. The Sudanese army said that Saudi Arabia's diplomatic mission had already been evacuated.

The conflict in Sudan has been ongoing since the 2019 coup that ousted long-time leader Omar al-Bashir. The current military government was formed after the coup, with both General Burhan and the RSF's Mohamed Hamdan "Hemedti" Dagalo holding top positions. They were supposed to merge their forces, but the RSF resisted this change, mobilizing its troops, which escalated into full-scale fighting last week.

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