The United Kingdom is making arrangements to evacuate British diplomats from Sudan due to escalating violence in the area. While the number of UK government staff in the embassy is relatively low, the British government has decided to evacuate its personnel as soon as possible, given the increasing attacks on diplomatic missions. Military aircraft and UK troops have been relocated to an overseas base to prepare for a possible high-risk rescue mission in the conflict zone.
Advice for British Nationals in Sudan
Despite the planned evacuation of diplomats, other British nationals currently in Sudan are advised to stay put and seek shelter indoors. This recommendation comes as the Sudanese army continues its airstrikes against paramilitaries in the capital city. The recent fighting between rival generals has resulted in hundreds of casualties, forcing residents to hide in fear, often without access to water and electricity.
Saudi Arabia and Jordan have already initiated evacuation efforts through a port city on the eastern Sudanese Red Sea coast. However, with Khartoum’s international airport closed and travel by road highly dangerous, escape from the country remains a perilous undertaking even with official assistance.
Government Response and Support for Nationals
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak recently chaired his fourth emergency COBRA meeting on the Sudan crisis. Multiple meetings involving foreign and defense ministers and officials have occurred over the past few days, reflecting the complexity and fluidity of the situation. The UK government has stated that its priority is protecting British nationals in the country, including providing support through other UK embassies in the region and the foreign office’s crisis center.
Unfortunately, this assurance seems to provide little comfort for those stranded in the conflict zone. One British national visiting Khartoum reported having received no communication from the embassy after being trapped for a week. The Sudanese military has offered assistance to the UK, France, the US, and China in evacuating their diplomats and foreign nationals from Khartoum using military transport planes.
The UK government has not provided specific details on any rescue mission, only confirming that the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office and the Ministry of Defence are preparing for “a number of contingencies.” It is not believed that an evacuation would be imminent.
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