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Another Kabul? Civilians Feel Abandoned as Sudan Diplomats Airlifted

Western countries are rushing to evacuate embassy officials as power struggles between rival military factions escalate. Still, there are concerns that lessons from the chaotic evacuation of Kabul have not been taken into account.

The United States, Britain, Japan, France, Germany and Italy were among the Western nations that pulled embassy officials out of Sudan over the weekend, as planes burned and fighting took place in the capital Khartoum in the escalating conflict. A major logistical feat. Airport and runway damaged. The US said it had conducted a military operation to extract government personnel from Khartoum, and the UK said it had used Special Forces soldiers to retrieve people in a “complex and rapid evacuation”.

Khartoum, Sudan — April 17, 2023: Maxar satellite image of a wrecked plane at Khartoum International Airport in Sudan. (c) 2023 Maxar Technologies.

A grab from AFPTV video shows a convoy leaving Khartoum for Port Sudan on April 23, 2023, as people flee the battle-torn Sudan capital. (Photo by ABUBAKARR JALLOH/AFP of him via Getty Images)

But while embassy officials swooped in with troops to pull them away, citizens of some countries faced a more daunting task, with convoys driving the dangerous 500-mile distance in the heat of battle. reportedly headed for the sea.A photo of the main UN convoy with its distinctive white and blue locomotives heading east from Khartoum emerged on Sunday. report Like being shot “trying to evacuate” after the convoy opened fire. Both sides of the Sudan conflict have accused each other of attacking a French evacuation convoy.

For some citizens, rescue awaits on the coast. Saudi Arabia is said to have made Sudan’s first successful military evacuation by mooring warships off the coast and bringing its citizens with it. reportedly Includes “Kuwait, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Tunisia, Pakistan, India, Bulgaria, Bangladesh, Philippines, Canada, Burkina Faso”.

The U.S. deployed 100 special forces and three Chinook helicopters to force government personnel out of the country, but for other reasons decided it was not safe to serve U.S. citizens in Sudan. message from The now-closed Khartoum Embassy said: Risk of movement, as roads may become congested, exposed to combat operations, and infrastructure degraded through damage to bridges, roads and facilities. ”

UK says “all options are being scrutinized” to “escape British citizens” but nevertheless lessons learned from failed Afghan withdrawal that saw deadly scene in Kabul British citizens on the ground have noted that what the British government is doing is largely secret, and that it Even if there were, Alicia Kearns, a member of the Task Force on Foreign Relations, said there was a “moral obligation” to communicate with them…still domestic.

Kearns estimates that there are still up to 4,000 British citizens in Sudan, with 1,000 seeking help to escape. per said Guardian, it is: “We have a moral obligation to tell the British public as soon as possible that the decision has been made, because they need to make the decision themselves…that is because no lessons have been learned from Afghanistan. The government will ensure that they are in regular contact with UK citizens.In reality, unlike other countries, we are thousands [of nationals in Sudan] So it can be very difficult to make a call. ”

People displaced from Sudan arrive at a military airport in Amman on April 24, 2023. (Photo by KHALIL MAZRAAWI/AFP via Getty Images)

This difficulty will be compounded by the fact that Sudan had no internet or phone access on Sunday.Whether this massive outage was due to infrastructure damage or a deliberate switch off — Sudan government past tense The implications of turning off the internet to suppress protests are unclear.

As the British government-friendly newspaper reported daily telegraph, the current UK government advice for citizens of Sudan is to take refuge in the area.some have Said This is equivalent to being abandoned.

Meanwhile, as Foreign Secretary James Cleverley made clear, the government said, “The safety and protection of British nationals in Sudan remains a priority and a top priority for us.” Cleverley said he will be making further statements about Sudan this afternoon.

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