Sudan war news latest: Live updates as first British evacuation flights take place and Germany condemns UK’s rescue operation
- First evacuation flights carrying British nations landed in Cyprus overnight
- UK set to take over Wadi Saeedna airstrip near the capital from German forces
Welcome to MailOnline’s live blog on the conflict in Sudan, as thousands of British nationals scramble for a second day to escape the capital of Khartoum.
Dr. Sara Abdelgalil, a paediatrician in Norwich, England, has become part of a lifeline of doctors providing long-distance support to the people living in a state of chaos and terror as fighting rages outside their homes.
‘We don’t sleep well because we’re expecting the worst,’ Abdelgalil, who texts relatives each morning to make sure they’re still alive, told the Associated Press. ‘I’m trying not to panic as much as I can.’
For some of the roughly 50,000 Sudanese people in the United Kingdom, a sense of helplessness over a situation that seems to have no end in sight has been replaced by a sense of duty.
Some are trying to help family, friends – even strangers – who are sheltering from urban combat between two military factions threatening to tear the country apart.
Internet outages have increased anxiety for Sudanese abroad seeking updates on their loved ones. Abdelgalil worries when she doesn’t see that her WhatsApp message was received. When they talk by phone, the fear is palpable in their voices that the conflict is nearby.
Now, she is trying to juggle her need to stay in touch with family and friends in Sudan and helping others there, with raising a 12-year-old son and working full-time as a doctor.
She also is working to try to fight disinformation and hate speech online, circulating a peace petition to the U.N.
One of the WhatsApp groups Abdelgalil belongs to discussed the heartbreaking case of a 9-year-old diabetic girl who died because her parents – afraid to leave home – waited too long to get insulin.
She has tapped into a medical network to direct parents to the nearest clinic or pharmacy in Sudan and provide the parents of a vomiting child a formula to make a rehydration solution.
‘When they say to me, “Thank you” and they send me “thank you” message with hands together, I just feel like at least I’ve done something,’ Abdelgalil said, ‘even to save them from going outside and being shot.’
Germany has ended its operation to evacuate people from Sudan, with over 700 people flown out of the country, including around 200 German citizens, the German defence ministry said on Twitter on Wednesday.
With Germany’s exit, British forces are set to take control of the Wadi Saeedna airstrip near Khartoum.
A ship carrying 1,687 civilians from more than 50 countries fleeing violence in Sudan has docked in Saudi Arabia, the foreign ministry said, the largest evacuation effort by the Gulf kingdom so far.
Saudi Arabia has received several rounds of evacuees by air and sea since fighting broke out in Africa’s third-biggest country on April 15, part of what analysts describe as an effort to position itself as a major player in responding to regional crises.
The group that arrived in the coastal city of Jeddah from Port Sudan on Wednesday was ‘transported by one of the kingdom’s ships, and the kingdom was keen to provide all the basic needs of foreign nationals in preparation for their departure,’ the ministry said.
Hello and welcome to MailOnline’s live coverage of the Sudan conflict on April 26, 2023.
Follow along for all the latest news and updates from the country that has descended into chaos in recent days, prompting foreign nations to launch operations to rescue their citizens trapped in the capital of Khartoum and other cities.
Here is a round-up of the latest news from the country:
The first evacuation flights carrying British nationals took off from Sudan overnight. Two Royal Air Force planes have landed at Larnaca Airport in Cyprus as of 6.30am on Wednesday, with the first charter flight back to London set to depart later in the day.
Home Secretary Suella Braverman said 200 to 300 people had been evacuated from Sudan so far as part of the airlift. Families with young children were among those on the first flights that landed in Cyprus.
UK troops are preparing to take over the running of the Wadi Saeedna airstrip – near the capital – from German forces, after Berlin said its final evacuation flight would leave on Tuesday night.
Defence secretary Ben Wallace has said 120 British troops have already been supporting the operation there, with the i newspaper reporting that the UK military could be prepared to use force if needed to protect the airbase should it come under attack.
The Government is considering other locations from which to evacuate British nationals, including a possible seaborne evacuation from Port Sudan, some 500 miles from the capital. HMS Lancaster and the RFA Cardigan Bay have been sent to the region.
Announcing the completion of Germany’s evacuation efforts – in an apparent swipe at the UK’s approach – the country’s foreign minister Annalena Baerbock said Berlin would not leave civilians ‘to their own devices’. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak defended the UK’s efforts, saying it was ‘right’ that diplomats were prioritised ‘because they were being targeted’.
At least 459 people have been killed and more than 4,000 wounded, according to Tuesday figures from UN agencies.
A US-brokered three-day ceasefire between the warring generals brought some calm to the capital, but witnesses reported fresh air strikes and paramilitaries claimed to have seized a major oil refinery and power plant.
Read our main story on the Sudan conflict here:
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