Sudan’s sudden slide into conflict between the Sudanese army and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) paramilitary on April 15 stranded thousands of foreigners, including diplomats and aid workers.
Several countries have launched operations to evacuate their diplomatic staff and other nationals, and some efforts appear to be via Port Sudan on the Red Sea, which is directly located about 650 kilometres (400 miles) northeast of Khartoum, but is about 800km (500 miles) away by road.
Here’s the latest on the evacuations:
US special forces evacuated all US government personnel and their dependents, along with a few diplomats from other countries, from the embassy using helicopters that flew from a base in Djibouti and refuelled in Ethiopia. They were not fired on during the evacuation.
“Today, on my orders, the United States military conducted an operation to extract US government personnel from Khartoum,” President Joe Biden said on Sunday.
He thanked authorities in Djibouti, Ethiopia and Saudi Arabia for their assistance in the evacuation mission.
The operation evacuated fewer than 100 people, US officials told reporters. About 100 US troops in three MH-47 helicopters carried out the operation.
The embassy has suspended operations due to security risks but local staff remain to support it.
Washington does not plan to coordinate an evacuation of other US citizens in Sudan but is looking at options to help them leave.
UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said British diplomats have all been evacuated from Sudan.
“UK armed forces have completed a complex and rapid evacuation of British diplomats and their families from Sudan, amid a significant escalation in violence and threats to embassy staff,” he wrote on Twitter.
“We are continuing to pursue every avenue to end the bloodshed in Sudan and ensure the safety of British nationals remaining in the country.”
Sunak also called for both sides “to lay down their arms and implement an immediate humanitarian ceasefire”.
France’s Foreign Ministry said it was evacuating its diplomats and citizens.
However, the warring army and RSF each accused the other of attacking a French convoy. The army said the RSF had fired on the convoy, wounding a French national.
The RSF said it had been attacked by aircraft during the evacuation, leading to a French national being wounded, and it had returned the convoy to its starting point.
France’s Foreign Ministry has not commented on the reported attack or injury.
Moscow’s ambassador in Khartoum told Russian state media that 140 out of roughly 300 Russians in Sudan had said they wanted to leave.
Evacuation plans were made but were still impossible to implement because they involve crossing front lines, the ambassador said.
He added that there were about 15 people, including a woman and child, stuck in a Russian Orthodox church close to heavy fighting in Khartoum.
Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Ministry said on Saturday that it had evacuated 91 Saudi citizens from Port Sudan to Jeddah, along with 66 nationals from several other “friendly and brotherly countries”.
Kuwait said all citizens wishing to return home had arrived in Jeddah.
Jordan said it had sent four military planes to evacuate about 260 nationals. On Saturday it said it was evacuating from Port Sudan.
Italy said its nationals would be taken out of Sudan on Sunday night along with some people from Vatican City, Switzerland and other European countries.
Italy’s foreign minister said some 140 Italians would be evacuated from Sudan, plus around 60 people from other countries.
South Korea said on Friday that it was sending a military aircraft to evacuate 25 citizens in Sudan.
Canada said it was suspending operations in Sudan and Canadian diplomats would temporarily work from a safe location outside the country, without commenting on evacuation efforts.
Belgian Foreign Minister Hadja Lahbib said on Twitter that her country was conducting operations in cooperation with France and the Netherlands to evacuate European nationals “as quickly as possible”.
Lahbib also called on people in Sudan who have not yet contacted their diplomatic services to do so quickly. “All our services are mobilized to help them,” she said.
A first group of Dutch citizens has been evacuated from Sudan, Dutch Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra said on Sunday.
Hoekstra said a “handful” of Dutch people had managed to leave Khartoum on a French plane, in what he said had been “a very complex operation” carried out with the help of France, Germany and other countries.
The minister said he hoped a larger group would be able to leave on Sunday night, using two military planes the Netherlands sent to Jordan last week to help with evacuation efforts.
A total of around 150 Dutch citizens has requested evacuation, the Dutch government said in a letter to parliament on Sunday.
The Swedish government has agreed to send a unit of up to 400 armed soldiers to support evacuation efforts in Sudan.
The deployment will be coordinated with other countries and will evacuate other foreign nationals as well as Swedes who are trapped in the country.
Details about the deployment were unclear, but the government hinted that the unit could set off for Sudan in the next 24 hours.