UK ends evacuation from Sudan


British citizens in Sudan were given to reach an airfield near Khartoum by noon on Saturday to board the last evacuation flight out of the war-torn country.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Department (FCDO) said it was ending the campaign due to declining demand for seats and the risk of new conflicts.

British diplomats and their families had left Sudan by 23 April after the Sudanese military agreed to facilitate the evacuation of British, American, French and Chinese nationals.

The Royal Air Force (RAF) took over Wadi Saidna airfield from the Germans on Tuesday and began airlifting other British nationals and their immediate family members who wanted to depart and were able to reach the airfield. The evacuees were flown first to Cyprus and then to England.

Sudan may have many more Britons living there, but about 2,000 British citizens registered with the British embassy on Tuesday to seek refuge.

By Friday, 1,573 people had fled the country, according to the FCDO.

Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden responded to a question about whether those who cannot arrive on time are essentially “abandoned”. sky news The UK “will maintain consular support in Sudan, especially on exit routes, both north and south, and especially in Port Sudan itself.”

The FCDO said on Thursday that Giles Lever, Sudan’s ambassador to Britain, had been relocated to neighboring Ethiopia to “lead Britain’s diplomatic efforts in the region to end the fighting in Sudan.”

Epoch Times photo
British citizens evacuate to a waiting RAF aircraft at Wadi Saydna Air Base, Khartoum, Sudan, 27 April 2023. (Source via Department of Defense/PA)

The UK government has reportedly expanded eligibility criteria for evacuation to include Sudanese NHS doctors after being pressured to allow UK residents to board flights.

Abdurrahman Babikar, a Sudanese doctor who works at Manchester Royal Hospital, said: BBC Despite having a UK work permit, he was initially denied by the office on Thursday. bottom.

Although there has been no formal confirmation of the policy change, BBC He said he had seen a Ministry of Health and Human Services text circulating telling NHS doctors to bring work permits and dependents to the airport.

The Epoch Times contacted the FCDO to ask if UK residents and their families are allowed to evacuate with the RAF.

No resettlement plan

Asked if Britain was “considering a safe route for refugees from Sudan”, Home Secretary Suera Braveman said Wednesday there were no plans to do so.

Downing Street confirmed Thursday that it has no current plans to create a specific resettlement plan for those who have fled Sudan, but it was something the government was considering.

During the evacuation of foreigners from Afghanistan after the Taliban swiftly occupied the country after the withdrawal of US troops in 2021, the British government decided to open a former resettlement facility designed exclusively for Afghan staff working in Afghanistan. In addition to the scheme, we have set up a resettlement scheme for Afghan refugees. UK including the British Embassy.

By February 2023, the Ministry of Interior gave 12,527 people indefinite leave to stay under two schemes. Breaking stats.

According to the Ministry of Interior, 8,565 of them have moved into their homes, another 590 are looking to move into their own homes, and 9,483 are staying in hotels or serviced accommodation.

Over 500 dead

The conflict in Sudan, which erupted on April 15 between the Sudan Army (SAF) and the militia’s Rapid Assistance Force (RSF), has nullified the move to internationally supported democratic elections.

Fighting has also reignited two decades of conflict in western Darfur, killing dozens this week.

Epoch Times photo
A man walks near damaged cars and buildings in the Central Market during clashes between militia rapid-relief forces and troops on April 27, 2023 in North Khartoum, Sudan. (Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah/Reuters)

At least 512 people are believed to have been killed and about 4,200 injured, according to the United Nations, with the true toll likely higher. The Sudan Doctors Union said at least 387 civilians were killed. Casualties included US citizens.

Witnesses continued to see airstrikes, tanks and artillery attacks despite a 72-hour ceasefire announced earlier in the week.

In the Khartoum area, heavy shootings and explosions rattled residential streets. Smoke billowed over Bari.

“We hear planes and explosions. We don’t know when this hell will end,” said Mahasin Al Awad, 65, from Bari.

The military has deployed jets and drones to RSF forces across the capital. Many residents are stranded in urban warfare with scarce food, fuel, water and electricity.

The RSF carried out airstrikes on Omdurman, Khartoum’s sister city at the confluence of the Blue and White Nile rivers, and Mount Aurya base, accusing the military of violating an internationally brokered ceasefire.

The military condemned RSF violations.

The ceasefire is expected to last until midnight Sunday.

Reuters contributed to this report.