As the conflict between competing factions escalated in Sudan, American diplomats and their families were evacuated.
Reuters says that the operation, which involved six planes, was “carried out in coordination with” the Rapid Support Forces. There were supposed to be 70 people evacuated, but many Americans are still there.
“The State Department acknowledges that some records show 16,000 US citizens may be in Sudan, but officials consider those figures to be inflated,” CBS News reports.
New: Elements of the Navy’s SEAL Team Six and the Army’s 3rd Special Forces Group participated in the evacuation of the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum, Sudan, sources tell me. https://t.co/yUc4dK0ZvW— Jim LaPorta (@JimLaPorta) April 23, 2023
“Other foreign nationals began evacuating from a Red Sea port in Sudan on Saturday,” Reuters noted, adding that the urban warfare has made exiting the nation increasingly difficult, leaving many stranded in the capital city of Khartoum.
On Thursday, National Security spokesman John Kirby spoke at a White House press briefing, during which he discussed the increasingly dangerous conditions in Sudan, specifically in Khartoum.
“The focus right now is on urging both sides to stop this violence, to abide by a ceasefire to allow humanitarian aid to get to people that are — that are — that need it,” Kirby said. “I mean, there’s already shortages of food; there’s concern over shortages of medicine and water. The situation is dire in Khartoum. And we continue to urge both sides now to stop this violence.”
Saudi Arabia and Jordan are just two of several countries that have either evacuated nationals or are making plans to do so from Sudan. Both parties in the war have broken truce agreements meant to provide safe evacuations, making the situation very difficult.
According to CBS News, since April 15, more than 400 individuals have been slain in the fighting.
In a statement made after the mission to evacuate the embassy staff from Sudan was completed, Vice President Joe Biden expressed gratitude to the service soldiers involved and the governments of Djibouti, Ethiopia, and Saudi Arabia for their evident help.
The president then spoke out against the violence that has been occurring.
“We are temporarily suspending operations at the U.S. Embassy in Sudan, but our commitment to the Sudanese people and the future they want for themselves is unending,” the statement concluded.