South Africa is working to evacuate its diplomats and citizens caught in the conflict-ridden Sudan, according to a report by Al-Jazeera on Monday. Clayson Monyela, spokesperson for South Africa’s foreign ministry, confirmed the ongoing evacuation efforts during a press conference.
Monyela stated, “I can confirm that the operation to evacuate South Africans in Sudan and the staff at the South African embassy there is currently underway. They are being taken to a neighboring country for safety.” However, he did not disclose the number of individuals being evacuated or the specific neighboring country to which they would be transported.
Earlier on Monday, President Cyril Ramaphosa informed reporters in Johannesburg that approximately 77 South Africans were trapped in Sudan. He also mentioned that South Africa would provide assistance to other nationals from the region who are stranded in the conflict-ridden country.
Several nations, including Belgium, Canada, India, the Netherlands, the United States, the United Kingdom, and France, have initiated evacuation operations, some of which are being conducted through Port Sudan on the Red Sea. The Nigerian government has also announced plans to evacuate around 5,500 of its citizens from the Northeast African nation.
Sudan has been engulfed in a violent crisis as its army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces engage in clashes throughout the country. The conflict has resulted in hundreds of deaths and severe shortages of water, food, medicine, and fuel. Over 400 people have lost their lives, and hospitals have been forced to close due to infrastructure damage caused by bombings.