Hundreds of American citizens evacuated

Nabil Anas

Global Courant 2023-04-29 19:53:44

Hundreds of US citizens have left Sudan by land, sea and air, the State Department said late Friday, as fighting continued despite the extension of a fragile ceasefire between the country’s two top generals.

“We are actively assisting U.S. citizens who wish to leave Sudan to move by land to a location where it is easier for them to leave the country,” Vedant Patel, a spokesman for the State Department, said at a news conference.

Patel said fewer than 5,000 citizens had asked the US for additional information and only a fraction of those had actively sought help to leave Sudan. “Several hundred US citizens “have already left Sudan, either by land, sea or air,” he added.

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Saudi Arabia’s foreign ministry said in a statement on Saturday that US citizens were among nearly 1,900 foreign evacuees who arrived by ship at the port of Jeddah on Saturday. It was not stated how many Americans were on board.

A ferry carrying evacuees from Port Sudan arrived in Saudi Arabia on Saturday.Fayez Nureldine/AFP via Getty Images

While several countries have evacuated their nationals by air, some have gone through Port Sudan on the Red Sea, about 800 kilometers by road from Khartoum.

About 16,000 US citizens were in the country before the violence erupted just over two weeks ago.

While US personnel were evacuated from the US embassy last week, some have criticized the lengthy time it has taken to organize civilian evacuations.

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Denise Bowers and her husband Chris told NBC News on Thursday that they have reached the Egyptian capital Cairo after a grueling journey involving bus and ferry travel.

Chris, 53, said they watched the evacuation of the US embassy from their apartment in Khartoum, Sudan’s capital, but had to leave the great African country on their own.

Denise, 52, who worked as a teacher, added that the US government had “absolutely nothing to do with us getting out safely”, even though the embassy knew they were in Sudan. She said they had been advised to join a convoy coming from the Turkish embassy.

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Chris, 53, added that he was glad they escaped but “felt sorry” for those left behind. “The fact that we got on a bus and half of our friends couldn’t come along made us feel terrible,” he said.

The couple returned from Egypt to Bluffton, South Carolina, late on Friday.

They, along with thousands of others, were forced to leave after the military and its rival partner, the Rapid Security Forces, began vying for control of the great African nation’s key institutions earlier this month.

Hundreds of American citizens evacuated

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