Sudan crisis: Which European countries are evacuating their citizens?

As continued fighting raises fears of Sudan plunging into deeper chaos, foreign governments have started to get their diplomats and other citizens safely out of the country. 

Several European countries are amongst the first ones to deploy military transport for safe evacuation, including France which used its airbase in neighboring Djibouti for the airlift.

Based on the information available so far, here’s what we know about the European evacuation efforts country-by-country: 

United Kingdom

Some 1,200 British soldiers who were part of a military operation out of a key British air base on the east Mediterranean island of Cyprus helped evacuate around 30 UK diplomatic staff and their families out of Sudan. Arrangements are being made to fly the evacuees back home from Cyprus. 

But not all is going smoothly – about 2,000 British nationals remain in Sudan, and many complain that their government isn’t giving them enough information about evacuation plans.

Britain’s Middle East Minister, Andrew Mitchell, said “intense planning” was underway for a “series of possible evacuations.”

Meanwhile Britain’s foreign minister James Cleverly tweeted that staff had more than 6000 phone calls and messages with British nationals in Sudan and had more than 200 staff “working 24/7”. 

The Foreign Office said the situation in Sudan “remains perilous” and that there were “reports of evacuation convoys coming under fire.” 

France

France brought out 388 people, including citizens from 28 countries in Europe, Africa, Asia and North America, on four flights to Djibouti, in the nearby Horn of Africa, two of them overnight Sunday.

French military personnel also evacuated other European nationalities including from Germany, Austria, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Netherlands, Sweden, Romania and Switzerland — as well as non-EU nationals from more than a dozen other countries. 

French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted a picture of a French military plane involved in the evacuation, and warned that “Sudan is in the middle of violent clashes.”

Germany

Three German military transport planes flew 311 people from Sudan to Jordan from where they’ll head to their home countries.

Germany’s Foreign Ministry said Monday that about half of the 311 were foreign nationals. The dpa news agency said among the evacuees were citizens of Australia, Bulgaria, the U.K., Belgium, Norway, Czechia, Ireland, Sweden, and Portugal. The Austrian government said 27 people were Austrian citizens.

And the Africa Director at Germany’s foreign ministry has been reaching out to Africa Union representatives in Addis Ababa “to find ways to end the fighting in Sudan,” the ministry tweeted on Monday. 

Italy

Italian Air Force C-130 transport aircraft airlifted some 200 people out of Khartoum airport Sunday evening and flew them to Djibouti. Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani said among them were 140 Italians, some Swiss, other Europeans, and personnel from the Vatican’s embassy in Khartoum.

“All the Italians who have asked to leave from Sudan are safe,” Tajani wrote on Twitter. 

“I am proud of the teamwork that led to the success of this delicate and complex evacuation operation. I thank the military, intelligence and diplomacy.” 

Spain

Spain said it had evacuated approximately 172 people from the Sudanese capital to Djibouti so far, including 34 Spanish nationals and citizens of Argentina, Colombia, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Portugal and Poland.

Netherlands

A Dutch air force C-130 Hercules flew out of Sudan to Jordan early Monday carrying evacuees of various nationalities, including Dutch. No exact numbers have been provided.

Sweden and Denmark

Sweden says 25 of its embassy staff and their families were among the 388 people that French aircraft airlifted to Djibouti. Denmark said 15 of its citizens were among the group.

Finland

Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto tweeted that 10 Finns had been evacuated from Khartoum, including children. He said efforts were underway to evacuate several Finns who remain in the Sudanese capital.

“The evacuation of Finns from Sudan has progressed well during the night. A total of 10 Finns have been evacuated. Among them are children. A few who asked for help are still in Khartoum, and efforts are being made to get them out. The situation is still difficult and dangerous.”

Poland

Poland’s Foreign Ministry said 11 Poles – including the ambassador to Sudan, diplomatic staff, and private citizens – have been evacuated as part of French and Spanish efforts.

Greece

Greece’s Foreign Ministry says that 15 Greek nationals and their family members have been evacuated to Djibouti with the help of Italy.

Norway

Norway’s Ambassador to Sudan Endre Stiansen has tweeted that he and two colleagues are “in a safe place outside Sudan” after a successful evacuation. 

Turkey

The Turkish government says it’s evacuating “hundreds” of its citizens by land to Ethiopia, from where they are scheduled to be flown to Istanbul.

Rest of the world

The US, Japan, South Africa, Kenya, South Korea, Jordan, Palestine, and Egypt are amongst the non-European states to evacuate their citizens from Sudan. 

While the US has said no mass evacuation will be in place for some 16000 US citizens in Sudan, its special operations forces used helicopters to ferry 70 embassy personnel out of Khartoum early Sunday. 

Egypt is urging more than 10,000 Egyptian citizens to consular offices in Port Sudan and Wadi Halfa in the north for evacuation. Buses carrying an undisclosed number of Egyptian citizens crossed into Egypt from the Arqin border crossing on Monday.

Kenyan and South African nationals, students, and embassy staffs are on their way out of the Sudanese capital via different government-led arrangements. 

Some 343 Jordanian nationals evacuated from Port Sudan arrived at Amman military airport aboard four transport aircraft.

The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates says some 72 Palestinians have relocated to Port Sudan while vehicle convoys are carrying about 200 Palestinians to Egypt.

South Korea and Japan are ready to airlift their citizens via separate military aircraft once preparations are completed.

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