UK evacuates embassy staff, families from Sudan


Cleverly urges warring parties in Sudan to lay down arms and implement an immediate ceasefire to allow citizens to leave conflict zones…reports Asian Lite News

The government has evacuated its embassy staff from Sudan, Foreign Secretary, James Cleverly said adding that the safety of British citizens remains the top priority for the UK government.

Taking to his official Twitter handle, Cleverly stated, “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 broker international support to end the bloodshed in Sudan.” Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Sunday said that armed forces have completed a “complex and rapid evacuation” of British diplomats and their families from Sudan.

He lauded the diplomats and military personnel who carried out the operation. He urged the parties to lay down arms and implement an immediate ceasefire to allow citizens to leave conflict zones.

“UK armed forces have completed a complex and rapid evacuation of British diplomats and their families from Sudan, amid a significant escalation in violence and threats to embassy staff. I pay tribute to the commitment of our diplomats and bravery of the military personnel who carried out this difficult operation,” Rishi Sunak said in a tweet.

He further said, “We are continuing to pursue every avenue to end the bloodshed in Sudan and ensure the safety of British nationals remaining in the country. I urge the parties to lay down their arms and implement an immediate humanitarian ceasefire to ensure civilians can leave conflict zones.”

Secretary of State for Defence, Ben Wallace, said that armed forces along with the US, France & other allies carried out a military operation. He said that the forces have evacuated British embassy personnel and their families from Khartoum due to the escalating threats.

“This morning, UK Armed Forces undertook a military operation alongside the US, France & other allies. They have evacuated British Embassy staff & their dependants from Khartoum due to the escalating threats,” Ben Wallace said in a tweet.

He further said, “The operation involved more than 1200 British personnel from 16 Air Assault Brigade, the Royal Marines and the RAF. I am grateful to all our partners including Cyprus. I want to pay tribute to the bravery and professionalism of our armed forces.”

Fighting between two rival military factions – the Sudanese Armed Forces and Rapid Support Forces (RSF) continues in Sudan despite a 72-hour truce declared for Eid, CNN reported. On Saturday, Loud explosions and clashes were reported, mainly near the military headquarters and presidential palace in Khartoum.

413 people have died in Sudan fighting so far

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) said that 413 people have died in the current Sudan conflict, while the UN children’s agency said children are paying a high price, with at least nine reportedly killed in the fighting and more than 50 badly injured.

WHO spokesperson Margaret Harris told in a UN press conference that according to figures from the government in Sudan, 413 people have died and 3,551 injured in the conflict. The fighting is part of ongoing clashes between the country’s army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF).

She said there had been 11 verified attacks on health facilities, including 10 since April 15.

“According to the Ministry of Health in Sudan, the number of health facilities that have stopped working is 20. And also, according to Ministry of Health numbers, the number of health facilities at risk of stopping is 12,” said Harris.

“So this means that all those people who need care, and this is not only the people who’ve been injured hearings, terrible fighting, but that the people who were needing treatment before and continuing treatment,” are impacted, said the WHO spokesperson, Anadolu reported.

At the same press conference, UNICEF spokesperson James Elder said, “Clearly, as ever, the fighting takes a devastating toll on children.

“We now have reports of at least nine children killed and at least 50 injured. Those numbers will continue to rise as long as fighting continues,” he added.

Elder said large numbers of people are trapped and do not have access to electricity, Anadolu reported.

“They’re terrified of running out of food, water, and medicines,” he said, adding, “One of our grave concerns is around hospitals that have come under fire.”

Elder said Sudan already had one of the world’s highest malnutrition rates among children.

“And we’ve now got a situation where critical life-saving support for around 50,000 children is at risk,” said the UNICEF spokesperson.

The fighting also puts at risk “the cold chain” in Sudan, including over USD 40 million worth of vaccines and insulin, due to breaks in the power supply and the inability to restock generators with fuel, said Elder.

UNICEF also has reports of children sheltering in schools and care centres while fighting rages around them and of children’s hospitals forced to evacuate as shelling moves closer. (ANI)

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