On Sunday, United States special operations personnel carried out a risky evacuation of the American embassy in the conflict-torn country of Sudan. They flew in and out of the capital city of Khartoum using helicopters that were on the ground for a total of less than an hour. There were no reports of any severe injuries or fatalities, and there were no bullets fired.
After the departure of the very last American worker at the embassy, the United States government in Washington decided to permanently close its mission in Khartoum. There were still thousands of American private people living in the East African country after the military withdrawal.
Officials from the United States have stated that a larger-scale evacuation operation cannot be carried out because it would be too risky. On Sunday, fighting between two competing Sudanese commanders began their ninth day. As a result of the fighting, the main international airport was forced to remain closed, and armed men now control the roadways leading out of the country. More than 400 individuals have been killed as a result of the fighting.
President Joe Biden said in a statement that he was receiving regular information from his staff on attempts to assist remaining Americans in Sudan “to the extent that is possible.” The president thanked the troops for their service.
The mission was carried out by around one hundred United States military personnel flying in three MH-47 helicopters. They evacuated all of the approximately 70 remaining American staffers to a secret location in Ethiopia from a landing zone at the embassy. The landing zone was at the embassy. According to Molly Phee, assistant secretary of state for African affairs, Ethiopia also provided support in the form of an overflight as well as refueling.
According to Biden, Djibouti, Ethiopia, and Saudi Arabia were also contributors to the evacuation effort.
“I am proud of the extraordinary commitment of our Embassy staff, who performed their duties with courage and professionalism and embodied America’s friendship and connection with the people of Sudan,” Vice President Joe Biden said in a statement. “I am proud of the extraordinary commitment of our Embassy staff.” “I will be forever grateful to the unrivaled expertise of our service members who were able to successfully bring them to safety.”
Before and during the operation, the United States Africa Command and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, were in communication with both warring factions to guarantee that United States forces would have safe passage to carry out the evacuation. However, John Bass, an undersecretary of state for the United States, refuted assertions made by one group, the paramilitary Rapid Security Forces of Sudan, claiming they helped the United States evacuate its citizens.
According to what Bass had to say, “They cooperated to the extent that they did not fire on any of our service members while the operation was ongoing.”
After receiving a recommendation from his national security staff and seeing that there was no sign of an end to the combat, Vice President Biden gave the order for American forces to evacuate the personnel of the embassy.
“The tragic violence in Sudan has already resulted in the deaths of hundreds of people who were just trying to live their lives.” “It’s inexcusable, and it needs to stop,” Vice President Joe Biden said. “The belligerent parties must implement an immediate and unconditional ceasefire, allow for unhindered humanitarian access, and respect the will of the people of Sudan.”
On April 15, combat broke out in Sudan between two commanders who, just 18 months earlier, had simultaneously organized a military coup to impede the transition to democracy in the nation.
As a result of the ongoing power struggle between the leader of the Rapid Support Forces paramilitary group, General Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo, and the chief of the armed forces, General Abdel-Fattah Burhan, millions of Sudanese are cowering inside their houses in fear of explosions, gunfire, and looting as a result of the conflict.
The violence has included an attack on an American diplomatic convoy that was carried out without provocation, as well as numerous cases in which foreign diplomats and relief workers were killed, injured, or attacked.
There are approximately 16,000 private citizens of the United States registered with the embassy as being in the country of Sudan. The number is only an estimate because not all Americans report their departures to the embassy or register with it.
The U.S. Embassy in Khartoum issued a warning early on Saturday morning, stating that “due to the uncertain security situation in Khartoum and the closure of the airport, it is not currently safe to undertake a U.S. government-coordinated evacuation of private U.S. citizens.” The airport is currently closed.
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Following the attack on the embassy convoy in Khartoum on Monday, the United States began making preparations for the evacuation of American diplomatic personnel working at the embassy there. On Friday, the Pentagon issued a statement confirming that United States troops were moving to Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti in preparation for a possible evacuation.
On Saturday, Saudi Arabia shared a film of Saudi nationals and other foreigners being greeted with chocolate and flowers as they walked off an apparent evacuation ship at the Saudi port of Jeddah. The footage was shared in conjunction with the announcement that some of Saudi Arabia’s people had been successfully repatriated.
The United States military only evacuates embassies on a very infrequent basis, and when they do occur, it is typically only under the direst of circumstances.
If there is the possibility, the State Department would prefer for its people to depart via commercial transportation in the event that it issues an order for an embassy to reduce its workforce or cease operations.
When the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv was forced to temporarily close in February 2022, just prior to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the staff members were allowed to leave using commercial transport.
On the other hand, in a few other more recent instances, most notably in Afghanistan in 2021, the circumstances rendered commercial departures either impossible or exceedingly dangerous. During their evacuation in 2014 from the United States Embassy in Tripoli, Libya, staff was accompanied by United States military personnel in an overland convoy that traveled to Tunisia.