Rishi Sunak said that UK diplomats, along with their families, were evacuated from Sudan following a “significant increase in violence”.
Prime Minister David Cameron said that he would work to make sure British nationals who were still trapped in the country, and had appealed for assistance getting out of it, are safe.
Mr Sunak described the evacuation of UK diplomatic staff and their dependents as “complex and quick”. This was done amid threats against embassy personnel in Khartoum’s capital.
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The “difficult” operation involved more than 1,200 British personnel, including 16 Air Assault Brigade members, Royal Marines, and RAF.
Sunak said that he would “continue to pursue all avenues to end the bloodshed”, and he called on the warring parties to “implement an immediately humanitarian ceasefire” to allow civilians to leave the conflict zones.
James Cleverly, Foreign Secretary of the UK, said that UK diplomats could not perform their duties due to violence. He said that they would be redeployed to other missions in the region.
He said that a “temporary truce” in the fighting allowed the UK military to remove the officials.
The British are begging to be removed from the country in order to escape the fighting.
Mr Cleverly stated: “The safety of British citizens in Sudan is a priority – it’s our top priority – and our embassies will carry out this duty in close coordination with international friends and partners.”
He warned that “we are severely restricted in our ability to assist British nationals until the conflict is over”. Please register your British nationals who are in the area.
William, a British citizen in Khartoum, who has lived in the country six years, said to Sky News, “I am sitting in my living-room chair, listening to shooting that is probably 3km away.”
I’m safest in Khartoum right now.
“We must get out”
“The endgame is now,” he added. We need to leave. We are very worried that nothing is happening in terms of an emergency evacuation plan. We do not know if the British government has some clever plan.
“It’s an extremely worrying situation that is deteriorating more and more. The only way to escape Khartoum is by leaving.
The preferred route is overland to Egypt, but we don’t have any other way to do that at this time.
We’re getting no help [from the Foreign Office].
“I have no doubt that this is the most dangerous situation in which I’ve ever been.”
“What I want to hear is that there’s a plane outside of Sudan and that as soon as it’s secured [in Khartoum, or wherever]… the plane will swoop in and give us a message telling us to get to this point. Then we’ll board the plane and fly home.”
The move comes just hours after US Special Forces airlifted their entire staff out of their Khartoum embassy.
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An unnamed US official reported that on Saturday, approximately 70 American citizens were flown to Ethiopia from the landing zone of the embassy.
But the White House said it has no plans for a government-coordinated evacuation of American citizens trapped there.
The US embassy said “due to the uncertain security situation in Khartoum and closure of the airport, it is not currently safe to undertake a US government-coordinated evacuation of private US citizens”.
Dozens dead in the past week
World Health Organization reports that fighting between forces loyal two top generals killed over 400 people since 15 April.
In the violence, foreign diplomats or aid workers were killed, injured or attacked in numerous incidents.
The embassy has registered approximately 16,000 US citizens as being in Sudan. However, this figure is likely to be inaccurate since there is no requirement that Americans register or notify them when they depart.
Sudan’s transition from dictatorship to democracy has been stalled by the conflict between General Abdel Fattah al Burhan and General Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo of the Rapid Support Forces.
Fighting broke out in Khartoum, and other parts of Sudan four years after the long-ruling dictator Omar al Bashir had been toppled by a popular revolt.