(DCWatchdog.com) – BREAKING NOW: US forces successfully executed a risky evacuation of American embassy staff in Sudan, according to President Joe Biden late Saturday night. He urged the cessation of the “unconscionable” violence occurring in the African country due to a power struggle between two opposing leaders.
Biden expressed gratitude towards the US troops who managed the mission to evacuate American personnel from Sudan. Following the last embassy worker’s extraction, the US mission in Khartoum was closed indefinitely. Currently, the US has no plans to evacuate the remaining 16,000 Americans in Sudan, citing the dangerous situation.
Biden confirmed that he is receiving regular updates from his team on efforts to aid those Americans still in Sudan.
According to two US officials, approximately 70 American staff members were airlifted from the embassy to an undisclosed location in Ethiopia. US troops conducted the operation amidst ongoing fighting between two armed Sudanese commanders, which has resulted in over 400 deaths and threatens the stability of the nation.
In a statement, President Biden praised the dedication and professionalism of the embassy staff and expressed gratitude for the exceptional skill of the service members. He also thanked Djibouti, Ethiopia, and Saudi Arabia for their assistance with the mission.
Following a recommendation from his national security team, Biden ordered the evacuation of embassy personnel. He called for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire, urging the belligerent parties to respect the Sudanese people’s wishes.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken explained that the ongoing fighting has caused civilian casualties, infrastructure damage, and significant risk to embassy personnel. Due to the critical security situation, the State Department has suspended operations at the embassy. It is uncertain when it may reopen.
The conflict began on April 15 between two factions vying for control of the country. It has resulted in attacks on American diplomatic convoys, incidents involving foreign diplomats, and harm to aid workers. Around 16,000 private US citizens are registered with the embassy as residing in Sudan.
The embassy alerted on Saturday that, given the uncertain security situation in Khartoum and the airport’s closure, a US government-coordinated evacuation of private US citizens was not feasible. The fighting between forces loyal to two top generals has placed Sudan at risk of collapse and could have repercussions beyond its borders.
US evacuation planning began on Monday following an attack on the embassy convoy in Khartoum. On Friday, the Pentagon confirmed that US troops were relocated to Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti in anticipation of a potential evacuation.
Embassy evacuations conducted by the US military are relatively rare and typically occur only under extreme conditions. The State Department prefers commercial transportation for personnel departures when operations are suspended or reduced. However, recent situations, such as Afghanistan in 2021, made commercial departures impossible or extremely dangerous.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS ALERT FROM THE DC WATCHDOG.
I am receiving regular reports from my team on their ongoing work to assist Americans in Sudan, to the extent possible. We are also working closely with our allies and partners in this effort.
— President Biden (@POTUS) April 23, 2023