US continues effort to evacuate Americans from Sudan

by mcardinal

Willie R. Tubbs, FISM News

Like so many other countries, the United States is scrambling to get its citizens out of Sudan as the African nation continues to devolve into chaos. 

Friday, the State Department and Department of Defense announced efforts were underway to evacuate Americans, all of whom are fleeing the brutal and persistent fighting between the Sudanese army and a paramilitary group known as the Rapid Support Forces. 

U.S. diplomats were evacuated on April 22, but it is believed several hundred Americans who were in Sudan as private citizens, were seeking to leave. 

According to both the State Department and Pentagon, Americans were among the United Nations-led convoy of foreign nationals that traveled overland to the Port of Sudan, which is in the east of the nation and on the Red Sea.

While the journey was in no way pleasant, U.S. officials dedicated intelligence assets to help make the trek a successful one for Americans and assigned Naval vessels to assist in the final removal of Americans. 

“The Secretary of Defense approved a request for assistance from the Department of State to support the safe departure of U.S. citizens and their immediate family members via overland,” Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh said in a statement. “The Department of Defense deployed U.S. intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance assets to support air and land evacuation routes, which Americans are using, and we are moving naval assets within the region to provide any necessary support along the coast. Our focus has been and remains to help as many U.S. citizens depart as safely as possible.”

Saturday, the State Department confirmed that the U.N. convoy had reached the port, meaning that some Americans were already in relative safety. 

“Intensive negotiations by the United States with the support of our regional and international partners enabled the security conditions that have allowed the departure of thousands of foreign and U.S. citizens, including through today’s operation,” a release from the State Department reads. “We continue to call on the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces to end the fighting that is endangering civilians.”

Americans will be transported to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, which is situated across the Red Sea adjacent to Sudan. 

“[Additional U.S. personnel are positioned [in Jeddah] to assist with consular and emergency services,” the State Department release reads. “This builds on the work the U.S. government has done this week to facilitate the departure of our diplomats by military assisted departure, and hundreds of other U.S. citizens by land convoys, flights on partner [aircraft], and sea. Hundreds of U.S. citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents have departed Sudan through these options facilitated by the U.S. government.”

Beyond the United States, the nations of China, Russia, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Canada, the United Arab Emirates, Ukraine, Kenya, South Africa, Iran, Indonesia, Italy, France, and Great Britain have also been working to evacuate their citizens.