OAN Roy Francis
UPDATED 11:09 AM – Thursday, April 27, 2023
The United States has extracted its diplomats and government employees from Sudan as the conflict in the country continues to escalate, however the evacuations have left thousands of Americans behind.
The State Department issued a security alert on Tuesday in which it said that the situation in the country is “not currently safe,” and advised the estimated 16,000 Americans that are believed to be stuck in the country to remain sheltered in place.
“Due to the uncertain security situation in Khartoum and closure of the airport, it is not currently safe to undertake a U.S. government-coordinated evacuation of private U.S. citizens,” the alert said.
Over the weekend, the U.S. used special forces units to evacuate around 70 Embassy staff in a helicopter mission while at the same time telling Americans that no operation would be conducted to get them out of the nation.
The State Department had provided information for those would wanted to leave the country about available border crossing and the requirements at each location, warning that the fighting is making a lot of those routes dangerous and unpredictable.
So far, since the fighting broke out in Sudan, at least two Americans are confirmed to have been killed.
While the U.S. is saying that the situation is too dangerous to evacuate Americans, other countries are proceeding with their own evacuations.
Countries that have, or are planning to evacuate their citizens, are the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Canada, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, Finland, Norway, Poland, Netherlands, Bulgaria, Turkey, Greece, Japan, South Africa, Kenya, Palestine, South Korea, Jordan, and Egypt.
While the United Kingdom has evacuated around 30 of its diplomats, and their families, that were in the country, about 2,000 U.K. citizens are still in Sudan. However, the British government has stated that “intense planning” was underway for a “series of possible evacuations.”
France said that they had evacuated around 500 citizens, from 41 different countries, which included nine Americans. Egypt had urged its citizens in Sudan to head to Port Sudan in the northern part of the country for evacuation. Buses have already evacuated an undisclosed number of Egyptian citizens back into Egypt from the Arqin border crossing.
The situation in the country continues to deteriorate as the violence escalates. Dr. Attiya Abdullah, secretary of the Sudan Doctors Trade Union, had told NPR that around 70% of the hospitals in Sudan have shut down as a result of the fighting.
A mass prison break has also been reported in one the main jails in the country which housed members of the Bashir regime that had been responsible for a list of human rights abuses.
The World Health Organization has also reported that one of the warring parties in Sudan has seized a laboratory with samples of measles, polio, and cholera isolate, creating a “high risk of biological hazard.”
As the price of food and fuel skyrocket in the country, tens of thousands are trying to flee the country to get to safety. Most refugees are attempting to cross into Chad and South Sudan according to the United Nations.
“At least 20,000 Sudanese have arrived in Chad and nearly 4,000 South Sudanese refugees have returned to South Sudan,” Faith Kasian, regional spokesperson for the U.N. refugee agency. “These new arrivals are placing additional strain on these countries that already have public services and resources significantly overstretched. The teams that we have at the border locations, in mainly South Sudan and Chad, tell us they’re witnessing a very dire situation. That people are essentially coming in exhausted, coming in scared. The majority of those that are arriving are women and children… We’re seeing cases where people are staying out in the open, under the trees.”
As the violence escalates, experts believe that Sudan is headed for a prolonged period of conflict as neither side is likely to relinquish power.
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