U.S. evacuates diplomats in Sudan
President Joe Biden said late Saturday that U.S. forces had completed the evacuation of U.S. embassy personnel in Sudan, citing “unconscionable” violence in Sudan as two rival leaders vie for power in the African country. He demanded an end to it.
Biden thanked the U.S. military for the mission to extract American staff in Sudan. With the withdrawal, Washington closed U.S. missions in Khartoum indefinitely.
The staff was airlifted to an undisclosed location in Ethiopia, according to two US officials familiar with the mission. Fighting between two armed Sudanese commanders that has killed more than 400 people, jeopardized the country and could have consequences far beyond its borders moves into its second week When I did, I executed the strategy.
“I am proud of the extraordinary dedication of the embassy staff, who carried out their duties with courage and professionalism and embodied the friendship of the United States and the connection with the people of Sudan,” Biden said in a statement. “We are grateful for the unparalleled skill of our service members who successfully transported them to safety.”
Biden also thanked the Djibouti, Ethiopia and Saudi Arabia missions for their support.
With no end in sight to the fighting, Biden ordered the U.S. military to evacuate embassy personnel after receiving recommendations from his national security team earlier Saturday.
“This tragic violence in Sudan has already cost the lives of hundreds of innocent civilians. It is unconscionable and must be stopped,” Biden said. “Belligerent parties must implement an immediate and unconditional ceasefire, allow unhindered humanitarian access, and respect the will of the Sudanese people.”
The evacuation order was thought to apply to about 70 Americans. The US military had flown them from the embassy landing strip to an unspecified location.
The State Department has suspended operations at the embassy due to the dire security situation. It was not clear when the embassy would resume functioning.
“The widespread fighting has resulted in significant civilian casualties and damage to critical infrastructure, posing an unacceptable risk to embassy personnel,” Secretary of State Antony Brinken said in a statement. rice field.
Fighting broke out on April 15 between two factions vying for control of the country. Violence includes gratuitous attacks on US diplomatic convoys and numerous incidents in which foreign diplomats and aid workers were killed, injured, and assaulted.
The White House said there were no government-coordinated plans to evacuate American citizens trapped in Sudan. An estimated 16,000 US citizens are registered with the Embassy as being in Sudan.
Biden said he receives regular reports from his team on their efforts to help Americans remaining in Sudan “as much as possible.”
“Due to the unstable security situation in Khartoum and the closure of the airport, it is currently not safe to conduct a private government-coordinated evacuation of US citizens,” the embassy warned Saturday.
Fighting between forces loyal to two top generals in Sudan risks the collapse of the country and could have consequences well beyond its borders.
Fighting that began when Sudan attempted to transition to democracy has already trapped millions in urban areas, shielding them from shootings, explosions and looting.
Army Secretary General Abdel Fattah Barhan said on Saturday that he would facilitate the evacuation of American, British, Chinese and French citizens and diplomats from Sudan after speaking with leaders of several countries that have requested assistance. rice field. His rival RSF (Rapid Support Forces) said in a Twitter post that it was working with the US military.
The US evacuation plan went into full swing on Monday after an embassy convoy was attacked in Khartoum. I confirmed that there is
Saudi Arabia announced the successful repatriation of some of its citizens on Saturday, showing footage of Saudi citizens and other foreigners being welcomed with chocolates and flowers as they disembarked from evacuation ships at the Saudi port of Jeddah. shared.
Evacuations of embassies by U.S. forces are relatively rare and usually only under extreme circumstances.
When ordering an embassy to reduce its staff or suspend operations, the State Department prefers to use commercial transportation to evacuate personnel, if possible. When the embassy in Kiev was temporarily closed just before Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, officials used commercial transport to leave.
However, in some other recent cases, notably Afghanistan in 2021, conditions have made commercial departures impossible or very dangerous. US troops accompanied US Embassy personnel in Tripoli, Libya, and were escorted overland to Tunisia in 2014.