President Joe Biden stated on Saturday that the US military removed American government officials from Khartoum and that Washington is halting operations at its embassy there as fighting between Sudan’s warring commanders continued.
“This tragic violence in Sudan has already cost the lives of hundreds of innocent civilians,” Biden said in a statement. “It’s unconscionable and must stop.”
According to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, “all U.S. personnel and their dependents” have been safely evacuated, and the US will continue to help Americans in Sudan in planning for their own safety.
All U.S. government personnel and a small number of diplomatic personnel from other countries were evacuated in the operation, which removed fewer than 100 people, U.S. officials said.
Just over 100 U.S. special operations forces were involved in the evacuation, entering and exiting Sudan without being fired upon by the warring factions on the ground, U.S. military officials said.
Other foreign nationals began evacuating from a Red Sea port in Sudan on Saturday. Japan’s TBS news reported that the United Nations staff members including Japanese nationals and their families would be evacuated from Sudan as early as Sunday.
The bloody onslaught of urban warfare has trapped large numbers in the Sudanese capital, disabling the airport and rendering some roads impassable.
The U.N. and foreign states have urged rival military leaders to honour declared ceasefires that have mostly been ignored, and to open safe passage for fleeing civilians and the supply of badly needed aid.
Sudan’s sudden collapse into warfare dashed plans to restore civilian rule, brought an already impoverished country to the brink of humanitarian disaster and threatened a wider conflict that could draw in outside powers, four years after the overthrow of long-ruling autocrat Omar al-Bashir in a popular uprising.
With the airport closed and skies unsafe, thousands of foreigners – including embassy staff, aid workers and students in Khartoum and elsewhere in Africa’s third largest country – have also been unable to get out.
Saudi Arabia has evacuated Gulf citizens from Port Sudan on the Red Sea, 650 km (400 miles) from Khartoum. Jordan will use the same route for its nationals.