White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters at the White House in Washington on Monday that the United States is working to help private US citizens leave Sudan amid increasing fighting between the military and a rival militia. Photo by Chris Kleponis/UPI License
April 24 (UPI) — As fighting between the military and a rival militia escalates in Sudan, the United States is working to help private U.S. citizens leave the country, White House officials said Monday.
White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan confirmed that the United States has deployed intelligence and reconnaissance assets within 500 miles. a land evacuation route from the capital Khartoum to a port in Sudan as clashes between the Sudanese armed forces and emergency aid forces intensified.
The fighting escalated after a failed attempt to stop the violence during last week’s ceasefire.
“Americans are a free people. We can’t dictate where they go, tell them they have to go or not go to a particular place,” Sullivan said of the 16,000 private US citizens in Sudan.
“We started to see a more regular pattern of convoys starting to arrive, including convoys of Americans. Once at port, we use diplomatic channels in neighboring countries to help those Americans continue their journey so they can exit the country safely,” he added.
Defense Department representative Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder also told reporters Monday that the Pentagon plans to send ships off the coast of Port Sudan to help Americans arriving there.
“The idea is to have these capabilities offshore if we need to, for example, transport citizens to another location, if we need to provide medical care, things like that,” Ryder said, while Sullivan added that there are no plans. send troops to Sudan to help citizens leave.
Sullivan told reporters on Monday, “It is not the normal practice of the United States to send in the U.S. military” to extract U.S. citizens. “We didn’t do that in Libya. We didn’t do that in Syria. We didn’t do it in Yemen and, no, we didn’t do it in Ukraine. “Afghanistan was a unique case of the end of a 20-year war that was the focus of the United States.”
Meanwhile, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said “the United Nations is not abandoning Sudan” as he urged Security Council members to call for an end to the violence.
“Since the start of the fight on April 15 hundreds of people were killed and thousands were injured. The violence must stop. This could lead to a catastrophic fire in Sudan that could spread throughout the region and beyond,” Guterres said. told the Security Council on Monday in New York.
“Let me be clear: the United Nations is not leaving Sudan. Our commitment is to the people of Sudan, supporting their aspirations for a peaceful and secure future. We are with them in this terrible time,” Guterres added.
France, Germany and the European Union have joined the United States, Britain and other countries to pull diplomatic staff out of Sudan as fighting escalates.
The United States completed the evacuation of diplomats on Sunday. Britain, Sweden, Spain, the Netherlands, Japan, Italy, Germany, France and Canada flew in and evacuated diplomats, embassy staff and others from Khartoum as well.
“The UK has launched a military operation to evacuate British Embassy staff from Khartoum due to increasing violence and threats against foreign diplomats and embassy property,” the British government said. in a statement Sunday.
French President Emmanuel Macron said at least 388 people had been evacuated on a flight that brought French citizens and other foreign nationals to Djibouti on Sunday and was evacuated on Monday.
Germany’s foreign ministry said it had evacuated 311 foreigners and others and planned additional flights “if the situation on the ground permits”.
About 20 European Union diplomats have left Khartoum and returned to their home countries, said Josep Borrell, the alliance’s foreign policy chief. said Monday.
He added that “many more European citizens” had also been evacuated from Sudan, with more than 1,000 people believed to have left the country.
“It was a successful operation, but a difficult one,” Borrell said.
Sudan’s armed forces, led by General Abdel-Fattah Burhan, and the powerful paramilitary Rapid Support Force, led by General Mohammed Hamdan Dagal, were allies in ousting the former Sudanese dictator in 2019, but are fighting each other for control of the country. from April 15
More than 420 people, most of them civilians, have been killed in the fighting and another 3,700 wounded, according to the World Health Organization’s Eastern Mediterranean Office and the Sudanese Doctors’ Syndicate.