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Somalia welcomes first group of citizens evacuated from Sudan conflict

Wednesday April 26, 2023


Mogadishu (HOL) - Somalia has begun evacuating citizens stranded in Sudan due to ongoing conflict between the Sudanese army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces. Eighteen Somali citizens arrived at Mogadishu's Aden Adde Airport on Wednesday after being evacuated from Buluja, near Sudan's border with South Sudan. Abdirahman Nur Dinari, the acting permanent secretary of Somalia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, assured that the government is working diligently to ensure the safe return of its citizens.

As fighting continues in Sudan, other African countries such as Djibouti and Kenya have also initiated evacuations of their citizens. Kenya is working to evacuate nearly 400 students, while Djibouti is evacuating diplomatic staff and citizens.

Another 500 Somalis are expected to arrive in Mogadishu on Wednesday as the Somali government evacuates them from Sudan following the announcement of a fresh ceasefire. Efforts are underway to repatriate 200 nationals who remain stranded in Sudan, where the fighting may trigger further displacement both within and outside the country.

Nur expressed gratitude to the Somali embassies in Sudan, South Sudan, and Ethiopia for their efforts in evacuating citizens trapped in Sudan due to military clashes between the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), a paramilitary unit. He also thanked the Kenyan government for bringing 19 Somalis from Khartoum, Sudan's capital, and the South Sudan government for allowing Somali people to reach their border and facilitating their journey.

The Somali Disaster Management Agency (SODMA) recently launched hotlines for Somalis stranded in Sudan. The 24-hour hotlines will help Somalis report their locations to ease the evacuation process.

The three-day ceasefire aims to establish humanitarian corridors, allowing citizens and residents to access essential resources, healthcare, and safe zones while evacuating diplomatic missions. According to the World Health Organization, the unrest in Sudan has resulted in over 400 deaths and 3,000 injuries.

On Wednesday, a boat carrying 1,687 civilians from over 50 countries fleeing violence in Sudan arrived in Saudi Arabia, marking the most significant rescue effort by the Gulf kingdom to date. Among the evacuees, 2,148 people, including over 2,000 foreigners, have been evacuated to Saudi Arabia from Sudan so far.

The UK, France, and Germany have also conducted evacuation efforts, with 200 to 300 people evacuated from Sudan in the British airlift, while France has evacuated 184 French nationals and their families, along with about 20 citizens of other nationalities. Germany has ended its evacuation program, having evacuated over 700 individuals, including around 200 Germans.


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