South Africa begins evacuation of citizens trapped in Sudan
South Africa says it has begun evacuating dozens of its citizens trapped in conflict-hit Sudan.
“I can confirm that the operation to evacuate South Africans in Sudan and the staff at the South African embassy there is currently under way. They are being taken to a neighbouring country for safety,” foreign ministry spokesman Clayson Monyela told the press on Monday, without disclosing the country.
He did not give the numbers being evacuated or a timeline on when they would land in South Africa.
But earlier on Monday, President Cyril Ramaphosa told reporters in Johannesburg that some 77 South Africans were stuck in Sudan.
Ramaphosa also said South Africa would “assist other nationals” from “our region” who are stranded in Sudan.
South Africa joins countries worldwide racing to move foreign nationals to safety after the army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces began clashing across Sudan, killing hundreds and causing acute shortages of water, food, medicines and fuel.
Several countries, including Belgium, Canada, India, the Netherlands, the United States and France, have launched evacuation operations – some via Port Sudan on the Red Sea, which is about 650km (400 miles) northeast of Khartoum but nearly 800km (500 miles) by road.