France conducts a challenging mission to evacuate around 200 individuals from Sudan

The French Foreign Ministry said on Monday that the number of evacuees from Sudan had risen to more than 200 after a second French plane carrying citizens of France and other countries landed in Djibouti on Sunday evening.

The first plane to land in Djibouti during the day had 106 people on board, according to AFP, while the second plane was carrying about 100 people from “French nationals as well as other nationalities, especially Europeans” outside Sudan.

Several foreign countries, such as France, Britain and Germany, have begun evacuating citizens and diplomats in light of the ongoing second week of fighting between the Sudanese army, led by Abdel Fattah al-Buran, and the Rapid Support Forces, led by Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo.

Diplomatic and military sources confirmed that the evacuees arrived at their point of departure “tired and stressed, but very pleased with their arrival to safety.”

She added that they were “psychologically exhausted from what they had to go through” as the fighting continued for more than a week, but their physical condition was relatively good despite suffering, like other residents of Khartoum, from lack of food and water.

In response to a question about press reports that one of the evacuation convoys was fired upon, injuring a French citizen, the sources were unwilling to “comment on such rumors” while “the operation has not yet been completed.”

She stressed that France would not have carried out the evacuation “if it had not received security guarantees from the two warring parties, which has been repeatedly pointed out.”

The sources acknowledged that the evacuation process is “extremely difficult” and may “endure difficulties to the end”, especially since the fighting has negatively affected various services in Sudan, including communications networks and the Internet, which are important for finding people to be evacuated.

Diplomatic sources said several countries, such as Germany, Switzerland, Britain, Belgium, Niger, Morocco, Egypt and Ethiopia, asked France for help with the evacuation without specifying the nationalities of the people on the two evacuation flights.

The Greek Foreign Ministry said France helped Athens evacuate two Greek citizens, including two injured.

French sources indicated that Paris was exploring the possibility of evacuating citizens by land, but decided against it due to the difficulties the evacuation convoys might face, especially in terms of refueling.

Source: AFP.

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