What Middle East nations have done to evacuate citizens from Sudan

More than 450 people have been killed in clashes between the army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces

A member of the Royal Jordanian Air Force carries a child as Jordanian and other citizens evacuated from Sudan arrive at Marka Military Airport in Amman. Reuters
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With hundreds killed in Sudan and some neighbourhoods of the capital, Khartoum, reduced to ruins, thousands of foreigners have fled the country.

Many more are trying to escape the fighting.

As the fighting eased in Khartoum, a city of five million people, foreign governments began organising road convoys, aircraft and ships to get their citizens to safety.

Fighting broke out between the army and paramilitary Rapid Support Forces on April 15. More than 450 people have been killed and 4,000 wounded, UN figures show.

On Tuesday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced a 72-hour ceasefire, with the rival forces saying they would observe the truce.

Countries in the Middle East and North Africa, as well as other nations, were working hard to get their citizens to safety. Here is a look at their efforts.


A Jordanian military plane arrived overnight in Amman from Port Sudan carrying 67 Jordanians and other citizens evacuated from the country, the Jordanian Foreign Ministry said.

It is the sixth Jordanian Air Force plane to arrive in Amman since the conflict in Sudan erupted last week.

Jordan has co-ordinated with Germany and the Netherlands for citizens from the three countries to be included in each other’s evacuation operations, the ministry said.

Foreign Minister Ayman Al Safadi said the kingdom will keep its embassy in Sudan operational “until the last Jordanian is evacuated”.

The minister did not give a figure on the number of Jordanians left in the country.

About 500 people were flown out on the six Jordanian planes, including Jordanians, Iraqis, Syrians, Egyptians, Canadians, Americans and Norwegians.

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said in a tweet that Jordan’s contribution to the German evacuation effort has been “crucial”.


Evacuation efforts by Egypt’s Foreign Ministry have allowed about 1,500 Egyptians to be extracted by land and sea, the ministry said on Tuesday night. It said it has been coordinating its rescue efforts with the Sudanese military.

The Egyptian Red Crescent has been conducting its own rescue efforts, setting up two emergency bases on the Egypt-Sudan border — one at the Arqeen land terminal on the western side of Lake Nubia and another at the Qastal land terminal, on the eastern side of the lake.

Both centres, in the southern province of Aswan, are providing dried meals, first aid services, psychological support and transport to return evacuees to their homes.

The organisation has provided 35 buses to transport foreign evacuees to Aswan Airport. Egyptians are taken to the city’s train station where they are given tickets to their home provinces.

Of the 1,203 evacuated by the organisation, 414 were Egyptians. Many more Egyptians are still stranded in Sudan.

How are foreign citizens being evacuated from Sudan?

Spanish diplomatic personnel and citizens wait to disembark a military plane after they were evacuated from Sudan, in Djibouti, Djibouti, April 24, 2023. Spanish Defence Ministry Handout/Handout via REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY

To escape the worst of the fighting, more than 1,000 Egyptian students have made their way to the Wadi Sidna airbase north of Khartoum, Egyptian state media reported. Evacuation efforts have so far been unable to reach them as a result of military manoeuvres by both sides.

The Foreign Ministry said “work is under way to evacuate a number of Egyptians and their families from one of the airbases near Khartoum, as soon as the security situation there improves”.

Social media posts showed many people trying to escape via the Wadi Sidna airbase, with long lines of cars and pedestrians being processed by Sudanese military checkpoints around the base.


Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al Sudani ordered two planes sent to Sudan to extricate stranded Iraqi citizens “because of the bloody events”, he said on Tuesday.

Mr Al Sudani also ordered security forces to co-ordinate with the Foreign Ministry to “ensure the safety of the [Iraqi] citizens and to bring them back to [their] homeland as quickly as possible”.

On Saturday, the Iraqi Foreign Ministry announced the killing of an Iraqi citizen in Sudan. It did not give details on how and when he was killed.

The Iraqi diplomatic mission and 14 Iraqis were evacuated from Khartoum to Port Sudan before leaving the country this week, ministry spokesman Ahmed Al Sahaf said.

There are still at least 300 Iraqis stranded in Sudan. Of those, only 165 have asked to be rescued, Mr Al Sahaf said late Tuesday.

The Iraqi government has announced hotline numbers to Iraqi citizens and asked them to gather near the UN headquarters in Khartoum on Wednesday to be picked up by buses.

Countries outside the Middle East and North Africa have also stepped up efforts to evacuate their citizens.

Saudi Arabia

A boat with 1,687 civilians from more than 50 countries fleeing violence in Sudan arrived in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, the Foreign Ministry said, the largest rescue effort by the Gulf kingdom to date.

The group was transported by a Saudi ship, with the kingdom “keen to provide all the basic needs of foreign nationals in preparation for their departure”, the ministry said.

Saudi Arabia has received several rounds of evacuees by air and sea, starting with boats that arrived in Jeddah on Saturday carrying 150 people, including foreign diplomats and officials.

On Monday, a C-130 Hercules military plane flew dozens of South Korean civilians to King Abdullah Airbase in Jeddah, and a boat ferried nearly 200 people from 14 countries across the Red Sea from Port Sudan.

Thirteen of the civilians who arrived on Wednesday were Saudi, while the rest came from countries across the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Asia and North and Central America, the Foreign Ministry said.

More than 2,100 people so far have been moved to the kingdom from Sudan, including more than 2,000 foreigners.


On Wednesday morning at dawn, 20 Lebanese citizens and 12 Palestinians with Lebanese documentation arrived at Rafik Hariri Airport in Beirut from Sudan.

They came via Port Sudan, from where they travelled to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, before going on to Beirut.


The Palestinian Foreign Ministry in the West Bank has so far organised the evacuation of 300 Palestinians, ministry official Ahmed Al Deek told Reuters.

Efforts are under way to evacuate hundreds more from Khartoum and other cities, with help from Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt, he said.


The first Turkish civilians evacuated from Sudan returned to Turkey on Wednesday, with more than 100 people arriving by plane at Istanbul Airport, Reuters said.

The Turks came from the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, where they had arrived overland from Khartoum. Several more flights were expected later on Wednesday to transport the remaining Turkish citizens crossing to Ethiopia from Sudan.

Updated: April 26, 2023, 1:19 PM