Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan speaks at an undisclosed location. File
The military said that army chief Gen. Abdel Fattah Burhan had spoken to leaders of various countries requesting safe evacuations of their citizens and diplomats from Sudan. The country has been roiled by bloody fighting for the past week that has killed over 400 people so far, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
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 center 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.
Burhan said that some diplomats from Saudi Arabia had already been evacuated from Port Sudan, the country’s main seaport on the Red Sea, and airlifted back to the kingdom. He said that Jordan's diplomats would soon be evacuated in the same way.
Even as questions persisted over how the mass evacuation of foreign citizens would unfold, the Saudi Foreign Ministry announced on Saturday that it had started arranging the evacuation of Saudi nationals out of the country. Officials did not elaborate on the plans.
Earlier this week, the Pentagon said it was moving additional troops and equipment to a Naval base in Djibouti to prepare for the possible evacuation of US embassy personnel from Sudan.
On Friday, the US said it had no plans for a government-coordinated evacuation of an estimated 16,000 American citizens trapped in Sudan, and continued to urge Americans in Sudan to shelter in place.
Until now, army chief Gen. Abdel Fattah Burhan, and RSF commander Gen. Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo — former allies against Sudan's pro-democracy movement — have seemed determined to crush each other in their struggle for power.
The Sudanese army said in a statement the Egyptians were evacuated from the northern town Dongola via four Egyptian military planes. The military said the Egyptians were in Sudan to participate in joint air force exercises.
The World Food Programme said it was suspending operations in the impoverished country after the killing of its three workers.
The spokesperson further said Dubai Airports places the highest priority on the safety of passengers and crew. It is closely monitoring the situation in Sudan to determine the course of action in the coming days.
The Agency provides education, health care, and social services to Palestinian refugees. The agency is funded almost entirely by contributions from member states of the United Nations.
The mayor of Belgorod, Valentin Demidov, told AFP that around 5,000 people who fled border villages have registered with city authorities, with several hundred in temporary housing.
A default would have likely triggered market panic, huge job losses and a recession, with global implications.