British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has announced that the country’s armed forces have carried out a “complex and rapid” evacuation of diplomatic staff and their family members from Sudan in response to a significant escalation in violence and threats to embassy staff. The operation, which took place on Sunday, did not include the evacuation of British nationals living in the country.
The fighting in Sudan between the army and the Rapid Support Forces paramilitary group began eight days ago, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of civilians and the trapping of thousands of others in their homes. British defence minister Ben Wallace said that the evacuation involved more than 1,200 military personnel, including those from the United States, France, and other unnamed allies.
While the UK government has expressed its commitment to pursuing all avenues to end the bloodshed in Sudan and ensure the safety of its citizens in the country, a British national named William told Sky News that he had not heard any updates from the foreign ministry and called for confirmation that a plane was being prepared to evacuate them. William stated that it was not feasible for British citizens to get past the checkpoints in the country and drive hundreds of miles to reach the Sudan border.
Foreign minister James Cleverly has advised British citizens in Sudan to shelter indoors and to inform the foreign ministry of their whereabouts as the situation in the country remains unstable. The UK government has also issued a warning to its citizens to avoid all travel to Sudan unless it is essential.
The UK government’s response to the escalating violence in Sudan has drawn praise from various quarters, with many expressing gratitude for the efforts of the armed forces in carrying out the evacuation of diplomatic staff and their families. However, concerns remain over the safety of British nationals still in the country, as well as the ongoing violence and humanitarian crisis in Sudan.
As the situation in Sudan continues to unfold, the UK government has reiterated its commitment to doing everything possible to end the bloodshed and ensure the safety of its citizens. While the evacuation of diplomatic staff and their families was a crucial step, the UK government faces a significant challenge in ensuring the safety and security of British nationals still in Sudan, as well as addressing the wider humanitarian crisis caused by the conflict.