SANDF working to evacuate 77 South Africans in Sudan

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As the situation in Sudan continues to be volatile, Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) spokesperson, Clayson Monyela, says the latest number of verified South African nationals stuck in the country is 77.

“They’re all in a WhatsApp group with embassy staff who are also still stuck there,” Monyela said on Sunday.

This comes after conflict broke out last week in Sudan between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF).

“Complaints of inconsistent, little or no communication from the team is noted. However, they’ve run out of diesel. There’s no electricity and therefore poor network coverage.”

Clayson announced that the team have since found a way to recharge batteries and will update the South African nationals regarding evacuation plans.

“Our security agencies are far advanced with the evacuation plan. Fighting has not stopped, so it remains a dangerous operation. The airport is closed and all routes are not risk-free.”

Government, according to Clayson, is doing everything possible to get South African nationals out of Sudan.

“Without revealing security plans, an option is being implemented and updates will be provided.”

The SABC said it has reliably learnt that a team from the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) was on its way to Sudan to evacuate South Africans on Sunday.

At the heart of the clashes are Sudan’s military leader, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and the commander of the paramilitary, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo.

According to reports, tensions erupted during negotiations to integrate the RSF into the country’s military as part of plans to restore civilian rule.

The United Nations (UN) said more than 400 people have been killed and more than 3 500 injured in the fighting.

Meanwhile, on Sunday, the Presidency, said South Africa reiterated its appeal to the parties involved in the conflict to heed international calls for an immediate ceasefire as unarmed civilians, including visitors from many parts of the world, remain stranded and fast running out of supplies.

The government expressed deep concern about the unfolding situation in Sudan, where violence erupted last week following a breakdown in negotiations on political and security sector reforms.

“We will engage directly with the leaders of the armed forces in Sudan as part of our endeavours for peace in Sudan,” the Presidency added.

The Presidency said the conflict in Sudan marks a setback in Africa’s efforts to silence the guns and usher in a sustained period of peace, stability and development.

South Africa is currently serving as a member of the African Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC). In this role, the country has been seized with the situation in Sudan, working with other African countries towards peace and stability in Sudan.

South Africa supports the role played by the African Union (AU), Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) IGAD and the East African Community (EAC) in their mediation roles in Sudan.