The Sudanese army agrees to assist in the evacuation of foreign nationals. Photos/Illustrations
KHARTOUM – Soldier Sudan said it agreed to help evacuate foreign nationals as sporadic gunfire and airstrikes echoed across Khartoum. Gunfights are still ongoing despite promises by the warring sides to cease fire for three days after a week-long standoff that has killed hundreds of people.
The United States (US) and several other countries have prepared efforts to evacuate their citizens. The military said the US, UK, France and China would evacuate diplomats and other nationals from Khartoum in the coming hours.
“The Saudi Arabian embassy has been evacuated by land to Port Sudan and flown from there and the Jordanian embassy will follow in the same way,” the Sudanese army added.
The statement citing army chief Abdel Fatteh al-Burhan comes after a promise by the leader of the rival Rapid Support Forces (RSF), Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, known as Hemedti, to open the airport for evacuations.
RSF chief Hemedti said on Facebook early Saturday that he had received a phone call from UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres in which they stressed the need to comply with a complete ceasefire and provide protection for humanitarian and medical workers.
RSF said it was ready to partially open all airports to allow evacuations. However, Khartoum international airport is caught in the fighting and the status of the other airports or the RSF’s control over them is unclear.
Sudan’s sudden collapse into war has shattered plans to restore civilian rule, brought the already impoverished country to the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe and threatened a wider conflict that could draw in outside powers.
The violence was sparked by disagreements over plans for international support to form a new civilian government four years after the fall of autocrat Omar al-Bashir and two years after a military coup.
Both sides accuse the other of derailing the transition.