To: Matthew Lee, Tara Kop, Amar Madani, Associated Press
Has been updated:
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. forces are conducting a dangerous evacuation of U.S. embassy staff in the African country of Sudan, closing the U.S. embassy as fighting escalates for nine days, according to a senior Biden administration official.
The U.S. forces who flown embassy officials out of Khartoum have safely left Sudanese airspace, a second U.S. official confirmed.
Biden ordered U.S. forces to evacuate embassy personnel after receiving recommendations from his national security team on Saturday that there was no end to the fighting in sight.
The evacuation order was thought to apply to about 70 Americans. The US military had flown them from the embassy landing strip to an unspecified location.
The State Department has suspended operations at the embassy due to the dire security situation. It was not clear when the embassy would resume functioning.
More than 400 people have died in fighting between the two factions that broke out on April 15, according to the World Health Organization. Violence includes gratuitous attacks on US diplomatic convoys and numerous incidents in which foreign diplomats and aid workers were killed, injured, and assaulted.
The White House said there were no government-coordinated plans to evacuate American citizens trapped in Sudan. An estimated 16,000 US citizens are registered with the Embassy as being in Sudan. The State Department warns that the figure is likely inaccurate because Americans are not required to register or notify the embassy when leaving the country.
“Due to the unstable security situation in Khartoum and the closure of the airport, it is currently not safe to conduct a private government-coordinated evacuation of US citizens,” the embassy warned Saturday. The US evacuation plan went into full swing on Monday after an embassy convoy was attacked in Khartoum. The Pentagon confirmed Friday that US troops are moving to Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti ahead of a possible evacuation. Saudi citizens and other foreigners have shared footage of being welcomed with chocolates and flowers as they disembarked from an evacuation ship at the Saudi port of Jeddah.
https://wgnradio.com/news/us-evacuating-diplomats-in-sudan-amid-fierce-fighting/ Amid heavy fighting, the United States evacuates Sudanese diplomats. WGN Radio 720