MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough appeared to blame Americans on Monday for not leaving both Sudan and Afghanistan soon enough.
The U.S. State Department issued a Level 4 warning days ago warning about the infighting, calling the situation “violent, volatile, and extremely unpredictable, particularly in the capital city of Khartoum.” There were an estimated 16,000 American citizens remaining in Sudan as of Friday, according to ABC News. Khartoum’s airport has been closed since April 16 and civilians have been forced to shelter in place, similar to the situation in Afghanistan.
Scarborough, however, appeared to put some of the blame on citizens themselves. (RELATED: Don Lemon Grills Kirby On Americans Left Behind In Sudan)
“Admiral, help me understand something about the Americans who stayed there, first of all, love to know how many Americans are there. Secondly, why are they still there? This reminds me of Afghanistan, where Americans were warned in the harshest terms for six months to get out of Afghanistan. They didn’t get out of Afghanistan, and then we had people screaming on other networks ‘oh we left people behind in Afghanistan,’ of course, we won’t talk about – we were critical of Afghanistan, so I’m not giving anybody a free pass here. I’m just asking, why do Americans continue to stay in these countries when they are warned repeatedly to get out and how many Americans are still in Sudan?” Brzezinski asked.
“You’re right, we did really ramp up the warnings back in the fall, in October, advising Americans, again, repeatedly, not to travel to Sudan and if you were, to get out, the situation was deteriorating,” Kirby said before saying the administration could not provide an exact estimate of how many Americans were in Sudan. Kirby said while estimates range from nearly 10,000 -16,000, a “vast majority of those are dual nationals.”
Sudan is experiencing major infighting as two rival military leaders, Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and paramilitary commander Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo turned against each other, breaking a power-sharing agreement in place since the 2019 overthrow of dictator Omar al-Bashir.
The United Kingdom is currently undergoing “planning” for a “series of possible evacuations” despite the risks, with about 2,000 citizens in Sudan registered with the embassy, according to The Associated Press (AP). Italy, France, Germany and Spain have also evacuated their citizens, while Finland has evacuated nearly a dozen citizens and has plans to rescue more, according to the report. Japan has also reportedly sent an aircraft Monday to an undisclosed location to get more people out.
The situation is drawing comparisons to the botched Afghanistan withdrawal in which dozens of desperate Afghans were seen clinging to departing American planes from the Kabul International Airport prior to the deadly bombing.