The British Foreign Secretary has issued a warning to UK nationals stuck in Sudan that they must “move now” because when the ceasefire ends at midnight (local time) this evening it will be “impossible” to evacuate.
James Cleverly is urgently advising Brits in Sudan to immediately head to the Wadi Saeedna air strip near the Sudanese capital, Khartoum.
As of Wednesday evening 536 Britons were rescued which saw a total of six RAF flights as there was a “steady flow” of people arriving at the airfield.
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The Foreign Secretary told Sky News, “We cannot predict exactly what will happen when that ceasefire ends, but what we do know is that it will be much much harder – potentially impossible.”
Cleverly added, “There are planes, there is capacity – we will lift you out. I’m not able to make those same assurances once the ceasefire has ended.”
He then gave an urgent warning to British passport holders, “So if you’re planning to move, move now.”
In almost two weeks of intense fighting between Sudan‘s army and paramilitary group Rapid Support Forces (RSF) over a power struggle more than 500 people have died, including two American citizens who were trapped in the East African country.
There are around 4,000 British passport holders registered at the embassy in Sudan and more than 2,000 of those have registered with the Foreign Office evacuation plan.
Africa Minister Andrew Mitchell said the UK’s evacuation effort is “going very smoothly” then he warned we’re “in the hands of the ceasefire” and it is not known what will happen after this.
Mitchell told Sky News the government “are doing everything we can” to prolong the ceasefire, but warned of a “humanitarian catastrophe” if both sides continue fighting in war torn Sudan.