Thousands of Americans are stranded after U.S. special operations forces evacuated U.S. Embassy staff and families from the Sudan warzone.
In mid-April, fighting erupted between two rival military groups in Sudan, creating a warzone throughout the nation. Over 16,000 U.S. citizens remain in Sudan as the fighting continues, according to ABC News.
Fighting damaged Sudan’s essential infrastructure and airport, making evacuation difficult. Ambassador John Bass, State Department’s Under Secretary for Management, said Saturday, “We don’t anticipate those security conditions [in Sudan] are going to change in the near term, even though we’re going to continue to do everything we can to bring this fighting to a conclusion.” (RELATED: US Sudan Embassy Evacuated Amid Escalating Violence)
The State Department suspended all operations in Sudan and cannot provide “routine or emergency consular services to U.S. citizens in Sudan.”
Security Alert: On April 22, 2023, the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum suspended its operations, and the Department of State ordered the departure of U.S. direct hire employees and their dependents due to the continued threat from armed conflict in Sudan. The U.S. government cannot…
— U.S. Embassy Khartoum (@USEmbassyKRT) April 23, 2023
Bass said that with the “unavailability of the civilian airport, we don’t foresee coordinating a U.S. Government evacuation for our fellow citizens in Sudan at this time or in the coming days.”
On Friday, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said it is not their standard procedure to evacuate U.S. citizens abroad during a press briefing.
The military is poised to assist if the U.S. orders an evacuation. During Saturday’s briefing, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict Chris Maier discussed potential military assistance with evacuations.
“In the coming days, we will continue to work with the State Department to help American citizens who may want to leave Sudan, as has already been stated. One of those ways is to potentially make the overland route out of Sudan potentially more viable,” said Maeir.
The Department of Defense is considering using intelligence capabilities and naval assets to assist with a potential evacuation, according to Maeir.
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