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Sudan Violence: UK Diplomats Evacuated From Khartoum

by Silverbird News24

British diplomats and their families have been evacuated from Sudan in a “complex and rapid” operation, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has confirmed.

Mr Sunak said work was continuing to ensure the safety of British nationals who remain in Sudan.

However, some Britons still in the country complain of feeling abandoned by the UK government.

Violence in Sudan between two opposing forces has seen deadly shooting and shelling in the capital city, Khartoum.

The power struggle that erupted last week between the country’s regular army and a paramilitary force called the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) has also affected other parts of the country, leading to a growing humanitarian crisis.

Electricity is scarce and food and water supplies are running out for many.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi agreed on Sunday that the UK and Egypt would work with international partners, including the African Union, on diplomatic efforts to secure a ceasefire.

Tobias Ellwood MP, chair of the Commons defence select committee, said the PM should now focus on “phase two” of evacuations to ensure that all British passport holders who want to leave the country can be extracted.

He does not know how many British passport holders there are in Sudan, but he told the BBC he understands that more than 1,000 people have registered with the Foreign Office and there are “easily a couple more thousand”.

Asked about criticisms that the UK had not acted quickly enough to evacuate British diplomats and their families, Mr Ellwood said over 1,000 military personnel had been mobilised at very short notice.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace told BBC News that personnel from the British Army, Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force (RAF) had been involved, with C-130 Hercules and A400 Airbus aircraft used in the rescue.

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said there were “specific threats and violence directed towards diplomats” which led to the decision to evacuate staff.

He said that by relocating the embassy to a nearby country, diplomats could provide more assistance to those in Sudan.

But he said the government’s ability to evacuate other British nationals was “severely limited” until fighting between warring parties stopped.

On Sunday Mr Cleverly chaired a sixth Cobra session – an emergency response committee made up of ministers, civil servants and others – to discuss Sudan’s “escalation” of violence.

Labour’s shadow foreign secretary, David Lammy, praised military efforts to evacuate diplomats, but said he was “deeply concerned” about the welfare of British nationals who remained stuck in Sudan.


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