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UK Nationals Forced to Take Matters into Their Own Hands to Evacuate

The British government is facing criticism for its lack of support for UK passport holders trapped in Sudan amid the ongoing internal conflict. Those registered with the Foreign Office were advised to shelter in place but have been left feeling abandoned and helpless. They were left to organize private evacuations, as the government prioritized the evacuation of diplomats from the British Embassy in Khartoum. The situation is causing mounting concern, with over 1,000 British nationals registered with the Foreign Office, and potentially several thousand more unaccounted for. Tobias Ellwood, the chairman of the Commons Defence Committee, has called for safe routes to be established for the UK passport holders still in Sudan.

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Diplomatic Evacuation of British Officials Defended by the Government

James Cleverly, the Foreign Secretary, has defended the evacuation of British diplomats and their families from Khartoum, where the British Embassy has temporarily closed, citing “specific threats” as the reason for the rescue mission. However, UK citizens who remain in the city feel neglected by their government, with some calling the situation “shameful” and feeling “absolutely” abandoned.

International Efforts to Evacuate Citizens Amidst Heightened Violence

As the conflict in Sudan escalates, several European countries, including France and Greece, are organizing evacuations for embassy employees and nationals, along with some citizens of allied countries. The Irish Government has also confirmed plans to send a team to Sudan to evacuate Irish citizens. However, the US has only evacuated about 70 American staff from Khartoum, deeming it too dangerous to coordinate a mass evacuation of citizens. Meanwhile, the Sudanese Junior Doctors Association UK is concerned about the safety of 71 NHS doctors who are currently trapped in Sudan, as most major airports have become battlegrounds and movement out of the capital has proved perilous.

UK Government Limited in Providing Assistance as Conflict Continues

The Foreign Secretary has warned that help for British nationals in Sudan will remain severely limited until a ceasefire is reached, and the government is committed to supporting its citizens in the country. However, the prospect of airlifting large numbers of people out of Sudan has been complicated by the worsening situation, with most major airports now deemed unsafe. The UK government is closing its embassy in Khartoum and removing officials for redeployment within the region, hoping that this will help strengthen diplomatic efforts. The situation in Sudan escalated when two generals fell out over a recent internationally brokered deal with democracy activists, meant to incorporate the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) into the military and eventually lead to civilian rule.

Opposition MPs Call for Immediate Action

Opposition MPs have expressed deep concern about the welfare of British nationals still in Sudan and called for the government to outline its plans to help them and support an immediate ceasefire. Shadow foreign secretary David Lammy and shadow defense secretary John Healey praised the bravery and professionalism of the armed forces in carrying out the evacuation but highlighted the need for the government to take action to support its citizens still in Sudan.

Government Holds Emergency Cobra Session to Discuss Escalation of Violence

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly chaired a sixth emergency Sudan Cobra session to discuss the escalation of violence in the country. Defense Secretary Ben Wallace acknowledged that the evacuation mission had been dangerous and precarious, with 1,200 personnel involved from the British Army, Royal Navy, and Royal Air Force. C-130 Hercules and A400 Airbus aircraft were deployed to collect diplomats and their residents and fly them out of the country to safety.

Leaders Share Concerns About Violence in Sudan

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak spoke with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi about the escalation in violence in Sudan. The two leaders shared their deep concerns about the situation and discussed further options for ensuring safe passage for civilians wanting to leave the country. Mr. Sunak also thanked Egypt for its support in the evacuation of British staff.

The situation in Sudan remains volatile, with ongoing fighting and limited options for evacuation. While the UK government is committed to supporting its citizens, the situation on the ground has made it difficult to provide significant assistance. The international community is mobilizing to evacuate citizens from the country, but the situation in Sudan is likely to remain a concern for some time as the conflict continues to escalate. In the meantime, British nationals remain trapped and fearful for their safety, left to rely on private evacuations to escape the ongoing violence.

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Hi I'm Oliver Smith, I would say that I take great pride in my work as a journalist and strive to produce high-quality, impactful stories that make a difference. With more than eight years of experience under my belt, I am passionate about uncovering the truth and shining a light on issues that matter.


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