Saudi Arabia becomes 1st nation to evacuate citizens from war-torn Sudan

Saudi Arabia is the first nation to evacuate its citizens from Sudan as rescued nationals arrived by sea at the port city of Jeddah Saturday.

According to IDON MIKIYA ONLINE NEWS sources, the first evacuation since the fighting broke out, Saudi state television said, “The first evacuation vessel from Sudan has arrived, carrying 50 (Saudi) citizens and several nationals from friendly countries,” the official Al-Ekhbariyah television said.

The boat docked at the Red Sea port of Jeddah where four other ships carrying 108 people from 11 different countries were expected to arrive later from Sudan, the broadcaster said.

Al Ekhbariyah carried footage of large vessels arriving in Jeddah’s port. It also released a video showing women and children carrying Saudi flags on board one of the ships.

Saturday’s evacuations mark the first major civilian rescue since violence in Sudan broke out on April 15.

Also our source revealed earlier, the Saudi foreign ministry said the kingdom has begun arranging to evacuate Saudi citizens and nationals of “brotherly” countries from Sudan amid armed conflict there.

The fighting that broke out a week ago in Sudan has killed at least 413 people and injured 3,551, according to the World Health Organisation.

According to the Sudanese army, Saudi Arabia’s embassy had already been evacuated out by land to Port Sudan and flown out from there and Jordan’s would follow.

The Sudanese army also said it was coordinating efforts to evacuate diplomats from the United States, Britain, China, and France out of the country on military aeroplanes, as fighting persisted in the capital, including at its main airport.

The military said that Army Chief General Abdul Fattah Al Burhan had spoken to leaders of various countries requesting safe evacuations of their citizens and diplomats from Sudan.

Foreign countries have struggled in vain to repatriate their citizens, a task deemed far too risky as clashes between the Sudanese army and a rival powerful paramilitary group have raged in and around Khartoum, including in residential areas.

The main international airport near the centre of the capital has been the target of heavy shelling as the paramilitary group, known as the Rapid Support Forces, has tried to take control of the complex, complicating evacuation plans.

With Sudan’s airspace closed, foreign countries have ordered their citizens to simply shelter in place until they can figure out evacuation plans.

In Khartoum, the army said it had agreed to help evacuate foreign nationals as sporadic gunfire and air strikes echoed across Khartoum despite promises by warring sides to cease fire for three days.

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