Conflicts & War

Intl. community withdrawal from Sudan conflict continues

Khartoum, Apr 24 (EFE).- Authorities from Germany, France, Japan and Indonesia among others were continuing their efforts Monday to evacuate their citizens from Sudan, as the conflict between the army and paramilitaries continues.

A first German air force plane landed Monday morning in Berlin with 101 evacuees, mainly embassy staff, their relatives and citizens of other nationalities, foreign affairs ministry sources reported, as fighting raged on between the Sudanese army and the Rapid Support Forces paramilitary group.

This is the first of the three A100M aircraft of the German army that flew to Sudan to evacuate its nationals.

Sources said more than 300 citizens registered to proceed with their evacuation were transferred since Sunday to a Jordanian military base.

Some 1,000 soldiers participated in the operation, coordinated between the defense and foreign affairs ministries, and it had been preparing for several days, waiting for the necessary security conditions to evacuate citizens.

A second group with 113 people also left Sunday night, along with a third, totaling 300 citizens between the three aircraft.

The evacuation is taking place in coordination with that of other Western countries, according to the foreign ministry, which is why it also includes groups of non-German citizens.

France has evacuated 388 people from Sudan in four flights between Sunday and the early hours of Monday, the country’s foreign and defense ministries said.

Four aircraft were all bound for Djibouti, both departments said in a joint statement.

Authorities said about 250 French citizens were in Sudan, although not all have shown their desire to leave the country, because of family ties.

They added that citizens from Germany, Austria, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Ireland, the Netherlands, Romania, the United Kingdom, Sweden and Switzerland also left Sudan.

The French effort also evacuated citizens of South Africa, Burundi, Ethiopia, Lesotho, Morocco, Namibia, Uganda, Rwanda, the United States, Canada, Japan, India and the Philippines.

The French foreign affairs office said it reiterated “its call to all parties for a ceasefire and a return to dialogue.”

Japan’s army began the Monday evacuation by land of some 60 citizens to neighboring country of Djibouti, where three Japanese planes were waiting, after Sudan closed its airspace, according to Japanese media reports.

Japanese government spokesman Hirokazu Matsuno said Monday that the “situation remains unstable, as the battles continue,” adding that authorities were “taking measures for the evacuation.”

Among the citizens are mostly diplomats, humanitarian personnel and the Japanese Cooperation Agency, as well as residents.

Indonesia also announced Monday the start of operations to repatriate more than 800 of its citizens trapped in Sudan.

The Indonesian foreign ministry said in a statement that 538 people left Khartoum Sunday morning by bus for the coastal city of Port Sudan, from where they will sail by boat to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

“the initial plan was for all Indonesian citizens to be evacuated by taking advantage of the ceasefire. However, due to fuel restrictions for buses that will transport Indonesian citizens and other evacuees, the evacuation cannot be carried out in one stage,” Minister Retno Marsudi said.

She added that there are still 289 Indonesians in Sudan, most of them students, who will be evacuated in a second phase.

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