Spanish military plane and military vehicles depart on tarmac as Spanish diplomatic personnel and citizens are evacuated, in Khartoum Spanish military plane and military vehicles depart on tarmac as Spanish diplomatic personnel and citizens are evacuated, in Khartoum 

Foreigners being evacuated from Sudan as fighting rages

Various countries race to extract their citizens from Khartoum on Monday and thousands more people took advantage of an apparent lull in fighting between the army and a paramilitary force over the past two days to escape Sudan.

Reuters - Khartoum

The sudden eruption of violence between the military and the well-armed Rapid Support Forces (RSF) paramilitary group in Sudan on April 15 triggered a humanitarian crisis and has killed 427 people, U.N. agencies said. Others have expressed fear for their lives as clashes spread through residential areas.

Foreigners fleeing

Nations including Gulf states and Russia were trying to get citizens out on Monday, and there was a growing exodus to Sudan's neighbours, including 10,000 people who fled to South Sudan despite chronic instability there.

Along with millions of Sudanese without access to basic services, foreign diplomats, aid workers, students and their families found themselves in a war zone last week. Internet connectivity was cut on Monday, website Netblocks reported.

Fighter jets have bombed the capital, the main airport has been at the centre of fighting and artillery barrages have made movement unsafe in and out of one of Africa's largest cities. Diplomats have been targeted in attacks, and at least five aid workers killed.

Fighting continues despite temporary truce

Despite sustained pressure from countries concerned by the conflict's wider repercussions as well as the safety of their nationals, the two sides have not abided by a temporary truce.

The army and RSF jointly staged a coup in 2021 but fell out during negotiations to integrate the two groups and form a civilian government four years after long-ruling autocrat Omar al-Bashir was toppled.

Threat to regional security

Their rivalry has raised the risk of a wider conflict that could draw in outside powers: Sudan has seven direct neighbours and sits strategically between Gulf nations, Egypt and sub-Saharan Africa.

Beyond the capital, people are reported to have fled clashes in several areas including the western region of Darfur, made up of three states, as well as from Blue Nile State on the border with Ethiopia and South Sudan, and North Kordofan State southwest of Khartoum, according to a U.N. update on Monday.

The fighting has closed most hospitals and curtailed water and electricity supplies. The killing of aid workers, including three from the World Food Programme, has led the U.N. agency to pause its operations in the country, which prior to the conflict relied on humanitarian aid for about a third of its people

Thank you for reading our article. You can keep up-to-date by subscribing to our daily newsletter. Just click here

24 April 2023, 15:36