As Sudan spiraled out of control, American authorities rushed to evacuate diplomatic personnel and their families from the Khartoum embassy. The city descended into violence and chaos as the conflict between rebels and the country’s armed forces intensified.
These rapid moves came after President Joe Biden announced on Saturday that the U.S. was suspending operations in Sudan.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken released a statement declaring that all American diplomatic personnel and their families were successfully evacuated. He added that the U.S. will persist in helping Americans flee the country.
Washington confirmed that, along with a small number of diplomatic personnel from other nations, the total evacuation was less than 100 people.
Foreign states seek Sudan evacuations after US pulls out diplomats https://t.co/wiQ8heiUka pic.twitter.com/WIFrCAT2i3
— Reuters (@Reuters) April 23, 2023
U.S. military officials reported that more than 100 American special operations forces carried out the evacuation. They were able to enter and leave Sudan without being engaged by the armed factions fighting for control.
The tumultuous weekend saw other foreign nationals spirited out of the country through a Red Sea port. According to Japan’s TBS news, United Nations staff members and Japanese nationals and their families were evacuated.
Saudi Arabia pulled its citizens out through the Red Sea’s Port Sudan, and Jordan is expected to do the same. Western nations, however, face the daunting task of evacuating their citizens without reliable airport facilities.
Dangerous urban warfare spread throughout the Sudanese capital, shutting down the airport and blocking major roads. Ceasefires reached by the warring parties have largely been ignored, and the U.N. issued a call for safe passage to be granted for evacuees and aid.
The airport’s closure only made the grim situation worse for Africa’s third-largest country. Diplomatic workers, students, and aid workers attempting to flee the carnage found themselves stranded in Khartoum.
Ambitions to see the country restored to a civilian government evaporated with Sudan’s rapid fall into warfare. International observers warn that the already poverty-stricken nation may be pushed into a humanitarian crisis as the conflict wages on.
Hostilities exploded on April 15 between the army led by Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and rival forces with RSF under Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo. Attempts to negotiate ceasefires that the sides will comply with have thus far failed.