US Planning Evacuation Agreement With Sudan

 A State Department spokesman could not confirm reports that the Sudanese military had agreed to help evacuate the United States and other nationals from the Sudanese capital Khartoum, a State Department official told VOA early Saturday Washington time.

“We continue to stay in close contact with our embassy in Khartoum and are fully accountable to our staff. For their safety, I am unable to discuss the details of the move or their whereabouts,” the spokesman said. Sudan’s military said on Saturday it was coordinating efforts to evacuate diplomats from the United States, Britain, China and France on military planes, as the escalating fighting continued, the Associated Press reported. in the capital, including at the main airport. The Sudanese military said the army chief,

General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, spoke with the leaders of many countries requesting the safe evacuation of their citizens and diplomats from Sudan, where the incident happened. There have been bloody clashes in the past week that have left more than 400 people dead. life. With Sudan’s main international airport closed, foreign nations have ordered their citizens to shelter in place until they can draw up evacuation plans. Burhan said Saudi diplomats were evacuated from Port Sudan and flown back to the kingdom.

He said Jordanian diplomats would be similarly evacuated soon. Egypt has also evacuated some of its staff, while Japan is preparing to evacuate. The State Department says there are about 70 staff at the US embassy in Khartoum and they are working to corner them in one location.

On Friday, State Department spokesman Vedant Patel issued a warning to non-governmental US citizens in Sudan. “We have advised Americans not to travel to Sudan as of August 2021, and the security alert of the US Embassy in Khartoum on April 16 said that due to the uncertain security situation in Khartoum and the closure of At the airport gates, Americans should not expect coordinated U.S. government evacuations at this time,” said Patel. this predicament.” U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken worked by phone during the crisis, talking repeatedly to General Burhan, Commander of the Sudanese Armed Forces, SAF, and General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, Commander of the enemy’s Rapid Support Forces. player, RSF, is called Hemedti. Blinken urged the two generals to respect the nationwide ceasefire at least until the end of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr on Sunday, April 23. Blinken also participated in a special ministerial session on Thursday chaired by African Union Commission President Moussa. Faki, with all the leaders involved agreeing on the urgent need for a ceasefire.

The two generals were once allies, who seized power in a coup in 2021 but later disbanded in a bitter power struggle. Reports from Khartoum on Saturday said the sounds of fighting continued into the night but seemed less intense than on previous days. The sudden fighting that broke out a week ago has pushed the city of 5 million to the brink of collapse, with residents cowering in their homes without power amid shelling and looting militants roaming the streets. streets, looting houses.

Sudan borders seven countries and is located between Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia and Africa’s volatile Sahel region. Violence erupted as an internationally backed transitional plan to form a new civilian government was about to take effect, four years after the fall of Omar-al-Bashir. The government and paramilitary forces accuse each other of hindering the transition. The United States has military forces stationed in neighboring Djibouti, which experts say could be used for any evacuation.

Experts say the Biden administration does not want a repeat of the rush to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan. Cameron Hudson, a senior associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told VOA, “I don’t think we can sell the Afghanistan comparison cheap, especially if we’re looking at American footage. leaving a besieged city, when civilians were begging for their own lives, begging to be evacuated with Americans and international staff, I think it was a terrible sight for the United States. United States when sending to Africa at this time.

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