A total of 117 Egyptian soldiers returned to their country after being captured by the RSF while trapped in the civil war in Sudan. Photo/REUTERS
KHARTOUM – Armed Forces Sudan on Thursday (20/4/2023) said 177 soldiers of the Egyptian Air Force were flown back to their country. They were previously held captive by the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) paramilitary group in the town of Merowe when the civil war broke out.
The Sudanese military said in a statement that hundreds of Egyptian troops were evacuated from the northern city of Dongola via four Egyptian military aircraft.
According to a Reuters report, hundreds of Egyptian troops were in Sudan to participate in joint Air Force exercises and were stuck there when the civil war between the Sudanese military and the RSF broke out.
The Egyptian military did not announce the evacuation but earlier said in a brief statement that it was coordinating with the authorities in Sudan to secure the return of troops.
After clashes broke out across Sudan between the RSF and the military on Saturday, RSF shared a video which it said showed Egyptian troops having surrendered to them in the northern city of Merowe, about halfway between the Sudanese capital; Khartoum, and the border with Egypt.
The video shows men dressed in army uniforms crouching on the ground and talking to RSF members in the Egyptian Arabic dialect.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said on Monday that his country is in regular contact with the RSF to ensure the safety of 117 Egyptian soldiers.
The civil war in Sudan is actually the culmination of months of tension between General Abdel-Fattah Burhan (leader of the Sudanese Armed Forces who is also Head of the ruling Military Council) and General Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo (leader of the RSF paramilitary force who is also Deputy Head of the Military Council).
The two generals are former allies who orchestrated a military coup in 2021 that toppled a Western-backed government.