Spain evacuates its diplomatic staff from Sudan

by Lorraine Williamson
Sudan

MADRID – In response to the armed conflict in Sudan between the Sudanese army and the paramilitary group Rapid Support Forces (RSF), Spain evacuated its diplomatic staff from the country on Sunday. 

This was confirmed by Foreign Minister Albares on Twitter. He reported the departure of Air Force planes from the Sudanese capital Khartoum. Moreover, the transfer operation went without incident thanks to a comprehensive security device. 

The Spanish military planes took off with more than thirty Spaniards and another seventy European and Latin American citizens who were evacuated from Khartoum and flown to Djibouti. The heads of both ministries, José Manuel Albares and Margarita Robles have been in contact throughout Sunday to ensure the success of the operation in Sudan. 

In addition to those evacuated on Sunday, another group of Spaniards had voluntarily decided to remain in Sudan or leave the country through other means, while others had already left the country before this operation was carried out. 

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According to Defense sources, nearly 200 Army and Air Force soldiers were involved in the operation. The support of the personnel of the Orion detachment from Djibouti was also used. That became a forward base for the deployment of the operation to evacuate Spanish civilian personnel in Sudan following the outbreak of the armed conflict. 

The French army is coordinating the EU evacuation operation 

The European Union announced on Sunday that its delegation in Sudan is being evacuated amid operations to evacuate international citizens and diplomats linked to the fighting that has been going on since last week. 

The High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, expressed his thanks to the French army, the coordinator of the operation from Djibouti, and to the authorities of that African country. However, Borrell said that the EU ambassador to Sudan, Aidan O’Hara, will continue his work from the country where he works. 

Coup 

Fighting between the Sudanese army and the paramilitary group Rapid Support Forces (RSF) began on April 15 after weeks of tension over the reform of the security forces in negotiations to form a new transitional government. Both groups were the driving force behind the joint coup d’état that overthrew Sudan’s transitional government in October 2021. 

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