As fighting continues in Sudan, evacuating foreign nationals has been difficult. The U.S. has managed to evacuate a total of nearly 1,000 people since the fighting began two weeks ago.

An evacuation mission took place Sunday from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, to Port Sudan and back. Two convoys carried U.S. citizens, as well as staff from the U.S. embassy to Saudi Arabia out of the country Sunday, CNN reported.

“We continue to assist U.S. citizens and others who are eligible with onward travel to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia where additional U.S. personnel are positioned to assist with consular and emergency services,” State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said in a statement, per NPR.

According to CNN, Saudi Arabia has been involved in the evacuations and says it has evacuated 5,197 people of 100 nationalities from Sudan.

“The assets and the capabilities — both military and civilian — in Saudi are involved in taking civilians from Sudan,” Saudi Arabian Defense Ministry spokesman General Turki Al-Maliki told CNN. “As long as it’s safe, we’ll keep doing our role.”

What caused the conflict in Sudan?

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Fighting began April 15, as tensions between the Sudanese armed forces and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces rose after working on plans to return the country to civilian rule. Both sides blame the other for initiating the fighting, and it remains unclear what first started it.

Hundreds of people have been killed and thousands have been wounded from the conflict, largely taking place in the capital city of Khartoum.

Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the leader of Sudan’s armed forces, claims “he would never sit down with RSF chief General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, who in turn said he would talk only after the army ceased hostilities,” according to Reuters.

“There are no direct negotiations, there are preparations for talks,” U.N. special representative in Sudan, Volker Perthes, told Reuters.

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