Sudan violence: UK diplomats evacuated from Khartoum

Smoke rises above buildings in the north of KhartoumReuters

British diplomats and their families have been evacuated from Sudan in a “complex and rapid” operation, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has confirmed.

Mr Sunak said work was continuing to ensure the safety of British nationals who remain in Sudan.

The evacuees were taken to an airfield outside of Khartoum overnight to fly out of the country, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace told the BBC.

Fierce violence erupted last week in Sudan between two opposing forces.

The power struggle between the country’s regular army and a paramilitary force called the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) has seen deadly shooting and shelling in the capital city, Khartoum and in other parts of the country.

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said there were “specific threats and violence directed towards diplomats” which led to the decision to evacuate staff.

He said that by relocating the embassy to a nearby country, diplomats could provide more assistance to those in Sudan.

But he said the government’s ability to evacuate other British nationals was “severely limited” until fighting between warring parties stopped.

Some UK nationals in Khartoum have told the BBC they felt abandoned by the UK government, and one woman said she had not been given “much information at all” about possible evacuation plans.

The near-constant shooting and bombing in Khartoum and elsewhere has cut electricity and safe access to food and water for much of the population.

The western region of Darfur has also been badly affected by the fighting.

A number of ceasefires have been ignored, including a supposed three-day pause to mark the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr, which started on Friday.

A hotline has been set up for those who need urgent help, and UK citizens in Sudan are being urged to tell the Foreign Office where they are in case more help becomes available.

The UK’s move follows the evacuation of US diplomats in the early hours of Sunday morning, and the UK defence minister thanked both France and the US for their assistance.

Several other countries including France, the Netherlands and Italy have also begun evacuating citizens.

Speaking to the BBC, Mr Wallace said the evacuation of UK diplomatic staff was complex as the embassy was located between the two warring factions’ headquarters in the capital, Khartoum.

He added that young children were among those who were evacuated.

The BBC understands a second Cobra meeting – an emergency response committee made up of ministers, civil servants and others – is planned for Sunday evening to discuss the situation in Sudan.

This video can not be played

To play this video you need to enable JavaScript in your browser.

Banner saying 'Get in touch'

How have you been affected by what’s happening in Sudan? You can get in touch by emailing

Please include a contact number if you are willing to speak to a BBC journalist. You can also get in touch in the following ways:

If you are reading this page and can’t see the form you will need to visit the mobile version of the BBC website to submit your question or comment or you can email us at Please include your name, age and location with any submission.


Related Topics

Products You May Like

Articles You May Like

Israel urged to publish full report on aid team deaths
Israel says body of hostage recovered in night raid
Thousands of Israelis rally to demand hostage deal
IDF confirms ‘decline in forces’ in southern Gaza
Ukraine nuclear plant drone strike prompts warning over risks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *