Cape Town – Department of International Relations and Co-operation (Dirco) spokesperson Clayson Monyela says the evacuation of more than 70 South African citizens in Sudan remains a “dangerous and risky operation”, as fighting is still ongoing.
This comes as AFP reported on Monday that foreign countries rushed to evacuate their citizens from the east African country, as deadly fighting raged into a second week between forces loyal to two rival generals.
Evacuation flights were continuing early Monday, with hundreds of people flown out overnight on military aircraft, the report said.
Monyela tweeted that plans to evacuate 77 SA nationals stuck in Sudan were “far advanced”.
“They’re all in a WhatsApp group with embassy staff (who are also still stuck there). Complaints of inconsistent/little/no communication from the team is noted. However, they’ve run out of diesel. There’s no electricity and therefore poor network coverage. They’ve since found a way to recharge batteries and will update South Africans regarding evacuation plans.
Latest number of verified SA nationals stuck in #Sudan is 77. They’re all in a WhatsApp group with embassy staff (who are also still stuck there). Complaints of inconsistent/little/no communication from the team is noted. However, they’ve run out of diesel. There’s no electricity…
— Clayson Monyela (@ClaysonMonyela) April 23, 2023
ALSO READ | South Africans still stuck in Sudan
“Our security agencies are far advanced with the evacuation plan. Fighting hasn’t stopped, so it remains a dangerous and risky operation,” said Monyela.
He said the government was doing everything possible to get stuck SA citizens out of Sudan.
“The airport is closed and all routes are not risk free. Government is doing everything possible to get our nationals out. Without revealing security plans, there’s an option that is being implemented,” he said.
In the latest update, Monyela said Khartoum was effectively a “no-fly zone” while all routes out of Khartoum remained “dangerous and risky”.
“The French convoy came under attack. SA government has explored all options & has settled on a particular plan. Coordination with the 77 SA nationals is underway. Our priority is to get everyone out. We understand the frustration & desperation,” he said.
Morwarre. The airport is damaged & closed. Khartoum is effectively a no-fly zone. Intense fighting is continuing. All routes out of Khartoum remain dangerous & risky. The French convoy came under attack. SA government has explored all options & has settled on a particular plan.… https://t.co/p9SKogcOUH
— Clayson Monyela (@ClaysonMonyela) April 24, 2023
Picture: Twitter/ @ClaysonMonyela
Compiled by Olwethu Mpeshe