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Brits warn to leave Sudan as UK government evacuates embassy staff

Brits warn to leave Sudan as UK government evacuates embassy staff

There are understood to be around 4,000 British passport holders in Sudan – as foreign secretary James Cleverly warned the UK government is “severely limited” in its ability to help British nationals until the conflict there ends.

It comes after diplomats and staff in Sudan have been evacuated by governments around the world as rival generals battle for a ninth day with no sign of a truce that had been declared for a major Muslim holiday.

While world powers including the US and the UK airlifted their diplomats from the capital Khartoum, Sudanese citizens have desperately tried to flee the chaos, with many of them risking dangerous roads to cross the northern border into Egypt.

Around 10,000 refugees have entered South Sudan from Sudan in recent days to flee the fighting – with around 6,500 crossing the border on Saturday and another 3,000 on Sunday, officials in South Sudan’s Renk County said.

Three-quarters of the arrivals are South Sudanese while the rest are Sudanese, Eritrean, Kenyan, Ugandan and Somali, according to an official.

Fighting has raged in Omdurman, a city across the Nile River from Khartoum, according to residents, despite a hoped-for ceasefire to coincide with the three-day Muslim holiday of Eid al Fitr.

More than 420 people, including 246 civilians, have been killed while over 3,700 have been injured in a bloody conflict between the Sudanese army and a powerful paramilitary group known as the Rapid Support Forces.

The RSF claimed the armed forces unleashed air strikes on the upscale area of Kafouri, north of Khartoum.

Andrew Mitchell, the UK minister for International Development and Africa, told Sky News that there is a “situation of chaos and enormous violence in Sudan”, adding that the “absolute number one requirement is to get a ceasefire”.

He said: “We will do everything we can and I mean everything to get our British citizens out.”

Mr Mitchell said that an “extremely successful but complicated operation was conducted yesterday morning which got the diplomats out”.

He said the focus now is on getting British citizens out of Sudan.

“Since we went into 24/7 crisis mode on the Sudan situation our intention always has been to facilitate the exit of our own citizens as soon as it is safe to do so.”

Asked how that could happen, he said: “All I can tell you is that every single option is being explored in detail and the moment that it is possible to change the travel advice and move them, we will.”


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