International

Sudan Crisis: US Military Evacuates Diplomats From Khartoum

The White House meanwhile has said that it has no plans for a government-coordinated evacuation of American citizens trapped in Sudan. An estimated 16,000 private US citizens are registered with the embassy as being in Sudan.

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Smoke fills the sky in Khartoum, Sudan, near Doha International Hospital
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Amidst tensions between the Army and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) in Sudan, US troops are carrying out the precarious evacuation of US Embassy staffers, a senior Biden administration official said. 

 The troops who airlifted the staff out of Khartoum have safely left Sudanese airspace, a second US official confirmed.

The Rapid Support Forces paramilitary group, which has been battling the Sudanese army, said the US rescue mission involved six aircraft and that it had coordinated evacuation efforts with the US. 

According to a report by Reuters, President Joe Biden said the U.S. was temporarily suspending operations at its embassy in Khartoum but remained committed to the Sudanese people, reiterating calls for a ceasefire that have so far gone largely unheeded.

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"The belligerent parties must implement an immediate and unconditional ceasefire, allow unhindered humanitarian access, and respect the will of the people of Sudan," Biden said in a statement, according to the report.

Biden ordered American troops to evacuate embassy personnel after receiving a recommendation earlier Saturday from his national security team with no end in sight to the fighting, according to the official who spoke on the condition of anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the mission. 

The evacuation order was believed to apply to about 70 Americans. US forces were flying them from a landing zone at the embassy to an unspecified location.

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The embassy issued an alert earlier Saturday cautioning that “due to the uncertain security situation in Khartoum and closure of the airport, it is not currently safe to undertake a US government-coordinated evacuation of private US citizens". 

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