U.S. forces carried out an evacuation of government personnel from the U.S. Embassy in Sudan on Saturday, as confirmed by President Joe Biden in a statement issued in the evening.
The extraction operation was conducted by the U.S. military at the embassy located in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan. The city has been marred by armed conflict between the army and a paramilitary group, prompting the need for the evacuation of embassy personnel.
“Today, on my orders, the United States military conducted an operation to extract U.S. Government personnel from Khartoum. I am proud of the extraordinary commitment of our Embassy staff, who performed their duties with courage and professionalism and embodied America’s friendship and connection with the people of Sudan,” the U.S. president said.
“I am grateful for the unmatched skill of our service members who successfully brought them to safety. And I thank Djibouti, Ethiopia, and Saudi Arabia, which were critical to the success of our operation.”
The White House has announced that it does not currently have any government-coordinated evacuation plans for American citizens who are stranded in Sudan amidst the escalating civil war in Africa’s third-largest country. It is estimated that approximately 16,000 private U.S. citizens are registered with the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan.
The deteriorating situation in the country has raised concerns about the safety and well-being of American citizens in Sudan, but no immediate evacuation plans have been announced by the U.S. government.
According to Under Secretary of State for Management John Bass, despite the evacuation of government personnel from the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum, Sudan, a significant number of local staff are still in the city to support the embassy. The decision to suspend operations at the embassy was made on Saturday due to the prevailing security risks. U.S. officials have informed reporters that the evacuation operation involved fewer than 100 individuals.
“We did not take any small-arms fire on the way in and were able to get in and out without issue,” said Lieutenant General Douglas Sims, the director of operations at the military’s Joint Staff.
The U.S. military reported that their forces spent only an hour on the ground in Sudan before successfully departing without encountering any gunfire from the warring factions. President Biden stated that he is receiving regular updates from his team regarding ongoing efforts to assist Americans in Sudan to the best of their ability, while also coordinating with allies and partners in this endeavor.
The Sudanese Army announced on Saturday that other nations, including the United Kingdom, France, and China, would also be evacuating their diplomats and nationals from Sudan due to the armed conflict between warring factions that has resulted in hundreds of casualties thus far.
“This tragic violence in Sudan has already cost the lives of hundreds of innocent civilians,” Biden said. “It’s unconscionable and it must stop.
“The belligerent parties must implement an immediate and unconditional ceasefire, allow unhindered humanitarian access, and respect the will of the people of Sudan.”
The U.S. State Department confirmed on Thursday that an American citizen has died amidst the ongoing conflict in Sudan. In response, the Pentagon announced that it was repositioning troops in preparation for a potential embassy evacuation. The fighting, which began on April 15, has now entered its second week, further derailing plans to reinstate civilian rule in Sudan after the overthrow of former autocrat Omar al-Bashir in a popular uprising four years ago.
As the violence continues, the World Health Organization reported on Friday that the death toll has reached 413, with 3,551 people injured since the outbreak of hostilities. Among the casualties are at least five aid workers in a country that heavily relies on food aid to support its population. The sudden collapse into warfare in Sudan has dealt a significant setback to efforts towards stability and civilian governance in the country.
Simon Ateba, Chief White House Correspondent at Today news Africa, reported there may be thousands of Americans stranded in Sudan.
DEVELOPING: Americans stranded in Sudan with no evacuation plans by @JoeBiden. There are 16,000 Americans registered in Sudan, many others do not register. People contacting me to say their relatives and colleagues and pastors are stranded in Sudan. Saudi Arabia and others have… pic.twitter.com/CQwZxkuqmx
— Simon Ateba (@simonateba) April 23, 2023
“Americans stranded in Sudan with no evacuation plans by Joe Biden,” he reported on Twitter. “There are 16,000 Americans registered in Sudan, many others do not register. People contacting me to say their relatives and colleagues and pastors are stranded in Sudan. Saudi Arabia and others have evacuated their citizens while the US has only evacuated government personnel.”
“With the US Embassy shut and government personnel evacuated, it’s difficult to coordinate the evacuation of other Americans stranded in Sudan,” he added. “Many relatives worried as another US embassy shut.”
The State Department revealed as many as 14,000 Americans were left behind after President Joe Biden ordered a hasty withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021. Millions of dollars in U.S. military equipment was abandoned and came into the possession of the Taliban.
Is anyone surprised, Joe has no plan? Has anyone read anything about the whereabouts of any of the military or civilians who were left behind while Joe executed his disastrous exit from Afghanistan? Most of these people have been completely forgotten. And it was all done so, we could quickly get a new war going in Ukraine. Ask yourself one question. Do any of you think Zelensky would have gone to war with Russia unless, he had already secured the promise of a world power to subsidize his war? This should wake you up to the obvious fact that the US and Ukraine were discussing starting this war well in advance of our poorly orchestrated Afghanistan evacuation. The story never changes. Once again, our government has lied to us.
Apparently leaving our people in Afghanistan wasn’t enough for Biden. He wanted to do it again in Sudan. Disgusting.
It is past time to abandon President Biden. He is a total failure as a leader and a human being