US government evacuates American diplomat staff from Sudan
American diplomats and their families were evacuated from Sudan on U.S. military aircraft Saturday after heavy fighting in the country for the last week
This story will be updated with developing information.
The U.S. government evacuated all American diplomats and their family members from Sudan on Saturday.
The evacuation comes after seven days of “heavy fighting between rival military factions,” CNN reported.
There was confusion earlier on Saturday about whether or not the U.S. government would be evacuating officials from the warring country of Sudan resulting from conflicting messages from the Sudanese military leader and an alert from the U.S. Embassy.
Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, who is Sudan’s de facto leader, said his troops would begin to evacuate British, Chinese, French and American officials “in the coming hours” on Saturday morning, reported The New York Times.
A security alert was issued shortly after by the U.S. Embassy stating that it was unsafe to evacuate leaders due to “the uncertain security situation in Khartoum and closure of the airport.”
Two days ago, an attempted cease-fire failed, wreaking more havoc and violence in the capital city of Khartoum, per The Associated Press.
With an estimated 16,000 American citizens in Sudan, evacuating them all would prove challenging with the inoperable airport and the country’s closed airspace, per CNN.
Like the United States, the British Broadcasting Company reported there are no evacuation plans from the United Kingdom yet, either.
Spokespeople from the France Foreign Ministry and Britain’s Foreign Ministry could not confirm any evacuations of French or British citizens or diplomats, per NYT.
Although evacuation by air is not the only option, as Saudi Arabia confirmed the evacuation by sea on Saturday of 150 people — a variety of Saudi Arabian citizens, as well as other countries including Qatar, Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates and Canada, reported BBC.
For now, the U.S. Embassy’s alert tells those trapped in Sudan that traveling in convoys is risky and it is better to “stay at the lower levels of your location, stay away from windows, and attempt to keep away from roadways,” until more information can be given.