American citizens fleeing the violence in Sudan in the first government-organized convoy. After a long voyage from Khartoum, a convoy arranged by the United States government finally arrived at Port Sudan on Saturday, marking the successful conclusion of the first endeavor led by the United States to remove private American individuals from the crisis in Sudan.
“A U.S. government-organized convoy carrying U.S. citizens, locally employed staff, and nationals from allied and partner countries arrived at Port Sudan on April 29,” a representative for the State Department named Matthew Miller stated in a statement. “The convoy carried U.S. citizens, locally employed staff, and nationals from allied and partner countries.” “From there, we are assisting U.S. citizens and others who are eligible with onward travel to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, where additional U.S. personnel are positioned to assist with consular and emergency services,” the statement reads.
The initiative was taken in response to the growing resentment felt by American citizens living in Sudan, who believed they had been abandoned by the United States government and were forced to negotiate the complex and dangerous situation on their own.
The violent conflict that broke out earlier this month between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the paramilitary group Rapid Support Forces has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of people, including two American citizens, and the wounding of thousands more. Those still confined in their houses face shortages of food, water, medicine, and electricity, which keeps the nation at risk for a humanitarian catastrophe.
The government of the United States had maintained for more than a week that the conditions were not suitable for evacuating civilians, even though several other countries had evacuated their nationals. All US government workers were safely removed in a military operation last weekend.
Miller said in the statement that was released on Saturday that the US-led convoy “builds on the work the U.S. government has done this week to facilitate the departure of our diplomats by military assisted departure, and hundreds of other U.S. citizens by land convoys, flights on partner aircraft, and sea.” This was said about the work that the United States government had done this week to facilitate the departure of our diplomats.
“Intense negotiations by the United States, with the support of our regional and international partners, enabled the security conditions that have allowed the departure of thousands of foreign and U.S. citizens, including through today’s operation,” he said. “These conditions have allowed thousands of foreign and U.S. citizens to depart.”
U.S. citizens who had registered with the State Department for assistance received an email on Thursday informing them that “the US government is planning to assist US nationals and immediate family members with a valid US travel document to depart Khartoum for Port Sudan in the coming days, possibly as early as tomorrow, via an overland convoy.” These citizens had previously requested assistance from the State Department.
According to an email, they were instructed to meet at a golf club between specific Friday hours and pack “food, water, and travel essentials… limited to only one travel bag.” This information was included in the message.
According to Miller’s statement, “the US government has made extensive efforts to contact U.S. citizens in Sudan and enable the departure of those who wished to leave.”
“We messaged every U.S. citizen in Sudan who communicated with us during the crisis and provided specific instructions about joining this convoy to those interested in departing via the land route,” he added. “We provided specific instructions about joining this convoy to those interested in departing via the land route.” “We encourage citizens of the United States who wish to leave Sudan but did not wish to take part in this convoy to get in touch with the Department of State through the crisis intake form that is located on our website,”
Since the beginning of the crisis in Sudan, “fewer than 5,000 US citizens have requested additional information from us,” according to Vedant Patel, the principal deputy spokesperson for the State Department, who made this statement on Friday.
“Of those, only a fraction have actively sought our assistance to depart Sudan,” he said. “We have assisted those who have actively sought our assistance.”