As the ongoing bloody battle between rival military factions in Sudan persists, the United Kingdom (UK) and European Union (EU) countries like Germany have begun evacuating nationals in the war-torn nation as American citizens remain stranded without any exit plans from the Biden administration.
In a statement to reporters in Luxembourg, the EU’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell stated that “many more European Union citizens and others are already out of Sudan.” “I cannot give you the concrete figure; it is more than 1,000 people for sure,” Borrell told reporters.
Last week EU Ambassador Aidan O’Hara was assaulted by armed men in Sudan wearing military uniforms but decided to stay in Sudan to aid in the evacuation. According to reports, the EU had help from the French government in the evacuation, with French military planes helping 388 people to the east African country of Djibouti.
Germany also announced it had evacuated around 700, including 200 German citizens, by deploying the country’s armed forces. In a recent statement, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz told reporters that he was grateful for the deployment of soldiers to Sudan who rescued officials and civilians. Scholz then said that German citizens trapped in Sudan who could not reach the airport were to be picked up by international partners on their evacuation flights. The German parliament aired praise for the rescue efforts while calling for a ceasefire and the return to civilian government.
The UK also followed suit in evacuating British officials from Sudan, sending two planes to Khartoum and working with EU nations in airlifting several hundred. UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak told reporters that flights carrying British citizens are continuing and that the British government is contacting citizens in Sudan for their extraction.
Sunak told reporters he was pleased that his country was “one of the first countries to safely evacuate our diplomats and their families.”
The UK Prime Minister stated that the prioritization was correct, given that “they were being specifically targeted” as the fighting began.
Despite the success of European nations in evacuating their citizens, hundreds of American citizens remain trapped in Sudan and have been ordered by the Biden State Department to “shelter in place.”
Over the weekend, the United States flew out diplomatic staff from Khartoum but left many American citizens in the country without any plans for immediate evacuation.
On Tuesday, State Department Spokesperson Vedant Patel told reporters that the US is “providing the best possible advice we can about conditions, safety, and security so that they can make their own decisions with the most information possible.”
Patel stated, “it is not standard practice for the US to send the US military into war zones to extract US citizens.”
When asked about allies evacuating their citizens, Patel stated that each country is “going to make its own sovereign decision based on their own interpretation of the security apparatus and the security situation on the ground.”
Reacting to the lack of help from the US government, analysts and congressional lawmakers have compared the Biden administration’s response to the August 2021 pullout from Afghanistan, where the administration left behind American citizens at the mercy of the Taliban and expensive military equipment.