Thousands of US citizens still stuck in war-torn Sudan

Smoke billows during fighting in the Sudanese capital Khartoum.

  • At least 1 000 American citizens in Sudan have been evacuated since the start of the conflict in early April.
  • The paramilitary outfit Rapid Support Forces (RSF) is using hospitals as army bases.
  • The African Union Commission on Human and People’s Rights called for an African-led solution to the fighting in Sudan.

At least 1 000 American citizens in Sudan have been evacuated since the start of the conflict in early April, but thousands are still stuck in the war-torn country. 

Two American citizens have so far been killed in the violence.

“Since the violence began, the US government, in tandem with allies and partners, has helped facilitate the departure of over 1 000 US citizens from Sudan,” Vedant Patel, a spokesperson at the United States Department of State, told journalists.

“Over the course of this crisis, we have messaged and communicated with approximately 5 000 US citizens in Sudan who were interested in seeking guidance from the American government,” he said. 

So far, three American convoys have successfully evacuated people from Khartoum, the hotbed of the conflict.

At least three ceasefire pacts have been agreed upon, but broken, since the fighting began.

He added:

No ceasefire is perfect, but what we feel confident about is that these ceasefires — the subsequent ones, including this most recent extension — have led to a reduction in violence.

Reports in Sudan say the ceasefires were an opportunity for the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) to re-organise – and not, as they had indicated, for them to allow civilians to flee.

Exiled Sudanese activist Amir Suliman, speaking to News24 in Banjul, Gambia, said the international community should not take the warring factions’ word about upholding ceasefires.

“When there’s a ‘ceasefire’ they are just moving positions to other places where they can be comfortable. For example, the RSF has been moving to hospitals where they know the government forces would think twice before bombarding,” he said.

WATCH | ‘Fighter jets, bombs and gunshots’: South Africans back home after long trek fleeing Sudan

But Patel strongly believes each ceasefire is taking Sudan towards a possible peace deal and the return to civilian rule.

“Every time that the ceasefire is extended, it allows us to continue to work, hand in hand, through the auspices of the Quad (the US, the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates), through the auspices of the African Union, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, and the United Nations, to get us to a durable cessation of hostilities that will hopefully take us back to what we believe is the will of the Sudanese people, and that is a transitional government,” he said.

Speaker after speaker at the ongoing 75th African Union Commission on Human and People’s Rights summit in Gambia called for an African-led solution to the crisis in Sudan.

The News24 Africa Desk is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation. The stories produced through the Africa Desk and the opinions and statements that may be contained herein do not reflect those of the Hanns Seidel Foundation. 

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