At 1:02 PM Eastern Time, an update reveals that Sudan is on the brink of a full-blown civil war, with two rival generals battling for control of the capital, Khartoum, resulting in a growing number of casualties over a two-week period. Many countries are scrambling to evacuate their citizens through various means, including military transport planes, ships, and land routes into Ethiopia and neighboring countries.
However, the United States has not yet joined these efforts, prompting CNN to release a scathing report criticizing the Biden administration for abandoning Americans in Sudan. CNN notes that other countries, such as Turkey and China, have been actively involved in evacuation operations, with the latter claiming to have safely evacuated over 1,300 of its nationals via land and sea.
“I am incredibly shocked and disgusted by the American lackluster response to the health and safety of their citizens,” Muna Daoud told CNN, whose parents were forced to exit via Port Sudan to Saudi Arabia. And CNN follows with this:
Despite a number of nations evacuating their citizens, the US government has continued to say that the conditions are not conducive to a civilian evacuation. All US government personnel were evacuated in a military operation this weekend. US officials have said they are in “close communication” with US citizens and “actively facilitating” their departure from Sudan.
However, CNN spoke with multiple people whose family members are among the “dozens” of Americans who want to leave Sudan, and they said the State Department has provided “barely any assistance” since the deadly violence between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and Rapid Support Forces (RSF) broke out more than a week ago.
In an interview, a man named Imad described the embassy and State Department as “useless”, after contacting them for assistance while being stranded in Sudan. He further stated that the State Department failed to provide any useful guidance during this period, and instead only offered a standard response to shelter in place, without sharing any vital information.
Already two American have lost their lives. CNN further presents that more are coming close to getting shot in near-miss situations due to the lack of formal US effort to get citizens safely out:
“The might of our military and resources does not get used to save our lives in war zones,” she said.
When CNN spoke to Daoud, her 69-year-old father and 66-year-old mother – both of whom are US citizens – were making the “harrowing” nine hour bus journey from Khartoum to Port Sudan.
“They had to find a bus this morning after waiting outside on the side of the road,” she said. Daoud said that the bus had been stopped three times by RSF soldiers “and at one checkpoint they held my father at gunpoint because they believed he was in the Sudanese Army.”
“They told all the men to step off the bus and searched and questioned them,” but they kept her father at gunpoint, she described to CNN.
“My mum believed he was going to be taken or shot. Luckily they decided to let him go,” Daoud said.
At the same time, media commentators in China are ridiculing and boasting…
The Foreign Ministry of China has verified that it will be deploying the PLA Navy to assist in the evacuation of Chinese citizens from Sudan. On Thursday, defense ministry spokesman Tan Kefei revealed that additional navy ships are en route to the area. Chinese evacuation vessels have already been sighted at ports in Sudan’s Red Sea.
“Due to the recent continually deteriorating security situation in Sudan, the Chinese army sent naval vessels to Sudan on April 26 to evacuate and transport our citizens to protect the lives and property of Chinese personnel in Sudan,” Tan said, also confirming over 1,300 Chinese citizens have already fled, and that more are exiting through land borders. “So far, more than 1,300 Chinese citizens have been safely transferred, some have left Sudan on Chinese warships and boats, and some are on their way out,” Tan detailed.
Germany and other European nations too…
Jordan has joined other nations in organizing military transport flights to and from the volatile capital of Sudan. It is ironic how the United States can readily invade countries, but fails to evacuate its citizens in times of crisis. Many among the 16,000 American citizens (some of whom may hold dual nationality) are questioning the whereabouts of President Joe Biden.
Despite a ceasefire, heavy explosions and gunfire continue to ravage areas of Khartoum and Omdurman, resulting in at least 500 casualties, including two American citizens. The conflict, which has been ongoing for two weeks, stems from a power struggle between two rival generals representing the Sudanese Armed Forces and the paramilitary group Rapid Support Forces.
According to a Khartoum resident who spoke to Al Jazeera on Friday, while some areas that experienced intense fighting have since calmed down, there is still no total ceasefire in those places. He added that schools and hospitals have remained closed for the past 14 days.
For almost a week, several countries have been working together in a large-scale evacuation effort to remove their citizens from Sudan, involving military transport planes. However, the United States has chosen not to conduct a similar operation for the approximately 16,000 American citizens residing in Sudan, including many dual nationals.
However, this global rescue mission is now facing challenges following reports that a Turkish evacuation plane was fired upon while landing at Wadi Seyidna airport near Khartoum. The C-130 aircraft’s fuel supply system was damaged due to ground gunfire.
The Turkish defense ministry acknowledged the damage, but did not identify who was responsible. “Light weapons were fired on our C-130 evacuation plane… Our plane landed safely. Although there are no injuries to our personnel, necessary repairs are being carried out on our aircraft,” the ministry stated.
According to the national army, the attack on the plane during landing was carried out by the Rapid Support Forces of Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo. However, the RSF refuted the claim and accused the national army of spreading lies. “Our forces have remained strictly committed to the humanitarian truce that we agreed upon since midnight, and it is not true that we targeted any aircraft in the sky of Wadi Seyidna in Omdurman,” the RSF said.
Fighting has also been observed in other parts of Sudan, including the West Darfur capital of El Geneina, where the AFP has reported 74 deaths in two days of fighting, which may indicate a slide towards a full-scale civil war.
According to numerous reports, the ceasefire extension between the warring military factions is barely holding, if it’s holding at all, despite reaching an agreement to extend it for an additional three days from midnight local time (22:00 GMT on Thursday).
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