U.S. Military Evacuates American Diplomats from Sudan Amid Ongoing Violence

The United States military has evacuated American diplomats from Sudan as the fighting in the capital Khartoum and other cities across the country entered its second week. The U.S. forces evacuated just under 100 American staff of the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum, Sudan, including six Canadian diplomats, 70 American diplomats, and some from other countries. President Joe Biden praised the extraordinary commitment of the embassy staff, who performed their duties with courage and professionalism and embodied America's friendship and connection with the people of Sudan.[0] Biden also thanked the military, as well as Djibouti, Ethiopia, and Saudi Arabia, which he said were “critical to the success of our operation.”[0]

The Sudanese military said in a statement early Saturday that its leader, Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, had “agreed to provide the necessary assistance” to facilitate the evacuations of foreign nationals from several countries, including the U.S., U.K., France, and China. Despite a ceasefire intended to halt the violence, the ongoing conflict between the Sudanese Armed Forces led by Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and the Rapid Support Forces paramilitary group under the control of Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo has resulted in the deaths of numerous individuals in Sudan.[1]

Numerous Sudanese individuals are making frantic attempts to escape the intensifying violence in Khartoum, which is causing hospitals to become inundated with casualties. Thousands of Sudanese have fled the fighting in Khartoum and elsewhere, UN agencies said, but millions are sheltering in their homes amid explosions, gunfire, and looting without adequate electricity, food, or water. The UN has recently labeled the humanitarian crisis in certain regions of the country as “catastrophic.”[2]

On Saturday, there was a security alert issued by the U.S. Embassy, which urged U.S. citizens to seek shelter in a safe location.[2] The citizens of America residing in the land have been advised to stay indoors and avoid going outside.[1] On Thursday, Vedant Patel, the deputy spokesperson for the State Department, stated that it is presently unsafe to carry out a U.S. government-coordinated evacuation of private American citizens.[3] Individuals residing in a particular place are referred to as citizens.[1] The Defense Department said U.S. Africa Command is monitoring the situation and “conducting prudent planning for various contingencies.”

The U.S. military, through U.S. Africa Command, is monitoring the situation in Sudan and conducting prudent planning for various contingencies. As part of this, the military is deploying additional capabilities nearby in the region for contingency purposes related to securing and potentially facilitating the departure of U.S. Embassy personnel from Sudan if circumstances require it.[1] The SAF said in a statement earlier Saturday that its leader, Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, had “agreed to provide the necessary assistance” to facilitate the safe evacuation of foreign citizens from the country in response to “calls from a number of heads of states.”

Despite the ongoing violence, limited consular services continue to be provided, and officials are in contact with affected Canadians in the country.[4] Although registration is not mandatory, around 1,600 Canadians have voluntarily registered themselves as being present in Sudan.[4] The situation in Sudan remains volatile and unpredictable, and the U.S. government has urged its citizens to avoid travel to the country.

0. “US has evacuated American diplomatic personnel from Sudan” CNN, 23 Apr. 2023, https://www.cnn.com/2023/04/22/politics/us-diplomatic-personnel-sudan/index.html

1. “1 American dead in Sudan as U.S. readies troops for potential embassy evacuation amid heavy fighting” CBS News, 21 Apr. 2023, https://www.cbsnews.com/news/sudan-american-dead-us-troops-embassy-evacuation-khartoum/

2. “U.S. diplomatic staff and their families evacuated from Sudan as fighting rages” Axios, 23 Apr. 2023, https://www.axios.com/2023/04/23/sudan-evacuate-us-embassy-fighting-troops

3. “U.S. positioning troops ahead of possible Sudan embassy evacuation” POLITICO, 20 Apr. 2023, https://www.politico.com/news/2023/04/20/us-troops-sudan-embassy-evacuation-00093038

4. “Canada temporarily suspends operations in Sudan, evacuates diplomats amid civil unrest” Toronto Star, 24 Apr. 2023, https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2023/04/23/canada-temporarily-suspends-operations-in-sudan-evacuates-diplomats-amid-civil-unrest.html

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