Scramble to Evacuate Foreign Diplomats and Nationals From Sudan As Fighting Mars Eid Truce
Diplomatic Missions Mobilizing
Dabanga Khartoum — As fighting continues to rock Khartoum, countries whose nationals reside in the nation are mobilizing their diplomatic missions to evacuate their citizens from Sudan. The conflict that has persisted for over a year has only been made worse with the Eid truce that was supposed to have ended hostilities. Countries like Jordan, Hungary, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, South Korea, and Greece, have all joined in the race to evacuate their citizens as soon as possible.
Although some of the countries have advised their citizens to ‘shelter in place’ for their safety, others have carried out more urgent measures to evacuate their people. The Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) has also assured diplomats and nationals from the United Kingdom, the United States, China, and France that they will be flown out of the country “in the coming hours.” The assurance, however, does not cover other nationalities in the conflict-stricken country.
Heightened Security Threats
Following the Eid truce, there have been reports of increased security threats in the country, with some of these threats targeted at specific embassies. Reports from some of the embassies suggest that there is an imminent and specific threat, which is what has led some countries to evacuate their citizens as a precaution.
Sudan had reached a peace agreement with the rebels in several areas, but hostilities broke out after the peace agreement was signed, prompting fears that the ceasefire may not hold.
Evacuation Challenges Faced
The evacuation process has not been without its challenges. The ongoing conflict, coupled with the global coronavirus pandemic, has made the evacuation of citizens much more difficult. Countries who have been successful in evacuating their citizens have had to overcome numerous logistical hurdles, such as securing flight slots and getting clearance from the Sudanese authorities.
Civil unrest, attacks on vehicles, and the closure of borders by neighbouring countries have all been barriers to the evacuation process, making it all the more time-consuming and expensive.
Humanitarian Crisis Worsens
The conflict in Sudan has led to a severe humanitarian crisis, with over five million people affected by the conflict, according to Amnesty International. Over 200 people have also lost their lives in the recent clashes with many more injured. The fighting has led to the displacement of over 100,000 people, who are now seeking shelter in camps and makeshift housing.
The conflict started in December 2018 when Sudanese citizens protested the high cost of living, a situation made worse by the country’s economic decline. Amid the protests, the military ousted the then-president, Omar al-Bashir. Since then, the country has been in a state of turmoil, with the current conflict worsening the already dire situation.
The International Community’s Response
The Sudanese conflict has drawn international attention and condemnation, with the United Nations and the African Union calling on all parties involved to put an end to the conflict. Despite these calls, the conflict has worsened, causing more suffering to the people of Sudan.
The United States, the United Kingdom, and other European countries have condemned the violence, calling for an end to hostilities in the country. The countries that have evacuated their citizens from Sudan have also expressed concern over the deteriorating security situation.
As the conflict in Sudan continues, the international community is urging meaningful dialogue and an end to the hostilities. The scramble to evacuate foreign diplomats and nationals from Sudan is a clear indication that the situation is far from over. Nonetheless, the evacuation of nationals from the conflict zone is a welcome development, as it provides much-needed relief for those affected by the conflict. It is our hope that the conflict will come to a peaceful end, and that the people of Sudan will be able to rebuild their lives and move past this dark period in their history.