British diplomats and families evacuated from war-torn Sudan | Africa News
British diplomats have been evacuated from war-torn Sudan in a “complex and rapid” evacuation.
The African country is currently in the second week of bloody internal fighting between the army and a paramilitary group called the Rapid Support Forces.
Diplomats from the United States and France was evacuated this week after it was revealed that aid workers had been killed and diplomats attacked.
Today, the Sudanese army said foreign diplomats should leave as soon as possible and promised to help with the evacuation, reports The i.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak tweeted: “British forces have completed a complex and rapid evacuation of British diplomats and their families from Sudan amid a significant escalation of violence and threats against embassy staff.
“I salute the dedication of our diplomats and the courage of the military personnel who conducted this difficult operation.”
Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said in a tweet: “Due to escalating threats against foreign diplomats, the UK has evacuated embassy staff from Sudan.
“Our top priority remains the safety of British nationals.
“We are working around the clock to channel international support to end the bloodshed in Sudan.”
Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said the operation to remove British embassy staff from Sudan involved more than 1,200 British Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force (RAF) personnel.
Mr Wallace said: “This morning British forces conducted a military operation alongside the United States, France and other allies.
“They evacuated British Embassy staff and their families due to escalating threats against diplomats in Khartoum.
“The operation involved more than 1,200 personnel from the 16th Air Assault Brigade; the Royal Marines and the RAF. I am grateful to all our partners.’
Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden this morning refused to share details of the government’s evacuation plans, drawing criticism from Labour, who described the situation as “deeply concerning”.
Asked by Sky News’ Sophy Ridge if Britain was preparing to evacuate British nationals, Mr Dowden said: “Clearly the situation regarding Sudan is a rapidly changing and complex situation.
“Our priority is to support British nationals. Well, the Department of Defense is acting in support of the Department of Foreign Affairs, but of course you don’t expect me to comment on the current situation regarding movement on the ground for security reasons.
“This is a very different situation than the situation you saw in Afghanistan, for example, for a number of reasons.
“First, this situation arose very quickly, and second, we just don’t have the kind of resources on the ground that we had in Afghanistan.
“Obviously we have to make sure we support our British nationals.
“Right now the advice for British nationals is to make sure they stay inside, stay safe and get in touch with the Foreign Office.”
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak chaired a Cobra emergency meeting on Saturday to discuss the crisis.
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