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Sudan Conflict: Nations Scramble to rescue their citizens

Sudan Conflict: Nations Scramble to rescue their citizens


Multiple nations have scrambled to evacuate embassy staff and citizens by road, air and sea from chaos-torn Sudan, where fighting between the army and paramilitaries has killed hundreds.

Rescue operations intensified Tuesday as a 72-hour ceasefire took effect, but gunfire still rang out in the capital Khartoum.

Some evacuees have been airlifted from Khartoum and taken to Djibouti, Jordan and Cyprus.

Others have driven to Port Sudan, 850 kilometres (530 miles) away, then boarded ships to Saudi Arabia, or headed by road to Egypt and Ethiopia.

Here is an overview of what nations around the world have done in recent days in efforts to take stranded citizens to safety.

 Mideast and Africa

Saudi Arabia led the first large-scale evacuations Saturday by sea, and since then hundreds of Saudis and foreigners from more than 20 countries have been taken to the port city of Jeddah.

Jordan late Sunday airlifted nearly 350 people including Palestinians, Iraqis, Syrians and Germans to a military airport in the kingdom, and on Monday announced “20 Jordanians arrived” aboard a German plane.

More than 50 Lebanese and 105 Libyans have left on a Saudi vessel.

Egypt’s military last week evacuated 177 soldiers, and on Sunday said 436 citizens had left by land. More than 10,000 Egyptians are thought to live in Sudan.

Turkey began operations on Sunday, taking some of its estimated 600 nationals by road from Khartoum and elsewhere.

Over 200 Moroccans were taken to Port Sudan in convoys organised by their embassy, Rabat said Monday.

Algeria and Tunisia have also announced rescue operations, and Mauritania said 101 citizens had reached Port Sudan.

Chad said it was sending planes to collect 438 citizens from Port Sudan.

Kenya, with about 3,000 citizens in Sudan, evacuated 19 Kenyans, 19 Somalis and a Saudi national, who landed in Nairobi on Monday night.

Nigeria plans to get nearly 3,000 nationals, mostly students, out by convoy to Egypt this week, an official said Monday.

Uganda has evacuated more than 200 nationals on buses via Ethiopia, its ambassador said.

Ivory Coast said 47 citizens were headed by bus from Khartoum to Cairo.

South Africa has begun evacuating dozens of embassy staff and citizens “to a neighbouring country for safety”, foreign affairs spokesman Clayson Monyela told AFP.

 North America

The US military sent three Chinook helicopters on Sunday to evacuate embassy staff from Khartoum, extracting just under 100 people.

Washington initially warned any wider effort to evacuate other Americans is unlikely in the coming days, but on Monday the Pentagon said officials were looking into potential land routes out of the country.

Canada has pulled its embassy staff out, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said.

– Europe –
Britain on Tuesday said it had launched “a large-scale evacuation” of its citizens, following an operation Sunday to take out embassy staff and their dependents.

Foreign Office minister Andrew Mitchell said some 4,000 Britons with dual nationality and 400 with UK-only passports were in Sudan.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said Monday that 1,000 EU citizens had been evacuated.

France has evacuated 538 people, President Emmanuel Macron said Tuesday, with French citizens just over one-third of them.

Germany said Monday three flights had left and a fourth was on its way to airlift a total of 400.

Ukraine said Tuesday it had evacuated 138 people, including 87 of its own citizens, to Egypt.

The Netherlands said “around 100 Dutch citizens have been evacuated, half of them on Dutch flights”, which also carried 70 others, according to the foreign ministry.

Italy evacuated around 200 people in a military operation Sunday, rescuing all Italian citizens who “had asked to leave” and others including Vatican representatives.

A Spanish military plane with 100 passengers, 30 of them Spanish, left Sunday for Djibouti, Madrid said.

A first group of 17 Greek nationals arrived Tuesday in Athens on an army transport plane via Djibouti, the defence ministry said, with several more Greeks evacuated to Jordan on board a Dutch plane.

Cyprus said it was exploring options to rescue some 20 citizens trapped in Sudan.

Austria, Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania said citizens had been evacuated with foreign help. As of Monday around 65 from those countries, nearly half of them Austrian, were still awaiting rescue.


China said Monday it had “safely evacuated” a first group of citizens, estimating about 1,500 “Chinese compatriots” were in Sudan.

New Delhi said on Monday “about 500 Indians have reached Port Sudan. More on their way.”

Pakistan said a convoy carrying 211 of its citizens arrived in Port Sudan on Tuesday, bringing the total number of Pakistanis evacuated to 700, with some 1,500 still remaining in Sudan.

Japan has evacuated 45 citizens aboard a military plane via Djibouti and temporarily closed its embassy.

A plane carrying 28 South Koreans including diplomats arrived in Jeddah on Monday, a Saudi official said. 

Indonesia said it had moved 538 nationals to Port Sudan, with another 289 due to travel in a second phase.

Malaysia said 30 nationals had arrived in Port Sudan on Tuesday, as well as 26 other nationals including two US citizens. 

The Philippines, with some 700 citizens in Sudan, said Tuesday 50 had been evacuated from Khartoum and were travelling overland to Egypt.

“We will do what we can,” said foreign affairs official Eduardo de Vega. “It’s very difficult.”

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