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The American embassy in Khartoum, Sudan’s capital, was evacuated on Sunday, April 23 in a dangerous operation carried out by US special forces. The rescue mission was conducted amidst ongoing fighting between two rival Sudanese commanders, making it a high-risk operation. The evacuation involved approximately 100 US troops who utilized three MH-47 helicopters to airlift around 70 American employees from a landing zone at the embassy to an undisclosed location in Ethiopia. Ethiopia provided support by offering overflight and refueling assistance during the operation.

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The Evacuation

Although there were no shots fired and no significant casualties reported, the evacuation operation took less than an hour. With the last US embassy employee evacuated, the mission in Khartoum was closed indefinitely. However, the thousands of private American citizens remaining in the East African country were left behind due to the high-risk environment, which made it too dangerous to carry out a broader evacuation mission. The battles between the two rival Sudanese commanders had entered their ninth day, and the main international airport remained closed, leaving the roads out of the country controlled by armed men. Over 400 people have been killed in the ongoing conflict.

US President Joe Biden’s Statement

US President Joe Biden issued a statement thanking the troops and receiving regular reports from his team on efforts to assist remaining Americans in Sudan “to the extent possible.” He called for an end to the “unconscionable” violence, and also expressed gratitude for the support provided by Djibouti, Ethiopia, and Saudi Arabia during the evacuation operation.

Evacuation Planning

The embassy evacuation was planned after an attack on the embassy convoy in Khartoum on Monday, and the Pentagon confirmed on Friday that US troops were being moved to Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti ahead of a possible evacuation. Saudi Arabia also announced the successful repatriation of some of its citizens on Saturday, sharing footage of Saudi nationals and other foreigners being welcomed with chocolate and flowers as they stepped off an apparent evacuation ship in the port of Jeddah.


Embassy evacuations carried out by the US military are relatively rare and typically only happen under extreme circumstances. When the State Department orders an embassy to draw down staff or suspend operations, its preference is for its personnel to leave on commercial transport if that option is available. The situation in Sudan was too precarious, however, making it necessary for US special forces to conduct a high-risk evacuation operation to ensure the safety of American embassy staff.

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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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