The British evacuation mission may have gained more time when rival generals made a deal as the midnight deadline for the resumption of heavy fighting loomed.
The RAF flew about 900 people from an airfield near the capital. Khartoum However, thousands more British nationals may remain in Sudan.
The flight was scheduled to continue anyway, but the escalating clashes would put additional pressure on the operation, and Cleverley warned that the mission could become “impossible.”
However, the militia’s Rapid Relief Force joined the Sudanese army and agreed to extend a 72-hour truce during which fighting has been lulled to allow civilians and foreigners to flee.
“The UK evacuation flight is underway.
“All UK citizens wishing to leave the country are strongly urged to head to the airport as soon as possible to ensure their safety.”
Britain has urged rival generals to extend the ceasefire, which should help avert a feared humanitarian crisis in Africa’s third-largest country.
More than 2,000 British citizens are registered for evacuation in Sudan, but the actual number of citizens is likely much higher.
As of 4 p.m. Thursday, Overseas office said 897 people had been evacuated in eight RAF airlifts.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs does not disclose the number of evacuees Englishman Or the foreigners were urging citizens to head to the runway before the ceasefire ended.
However, the flight is scheduled to operate after midnight and about 1,000 people are expected to be safely evacuated by Friday morning.
Military officials say they have the capacity to fly at least 500 people a day from Wadi Saidna airfield north of Khartoum.
Earlier in the day, Cleverley warned that the resumption of fighting could jeopardize evacuation efforts.
“We cannot predict exactly what will happen when the ceasefire ends, but what we do know is that it will be much more difficult and may be impossible,” he said. he told Sky News.
“So what we want to say to the British public is, if you are hesitant, if you are weighing your options, go through Wadi Saidna while the ceasefire is in effect.
“We have planes, we have capacity, we will lift you up.
UK passport holders have been told to make their own way to the airfield and no military escort is provided.
Downing Street has rejected calls from people, including Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Alicia Keynes, to extend eligibility for evacuation beyond British passport holders and their immediate family members.
However, the prime minister’s official spokesman said:
“We recognize that these are very difficult circumstances and it is clear that we will empower people on the ground to make decisions, as we have done in the past.”
Giles Lever, the British Ambassador to Sudan, had spoken to the parties to the conflict, the Sudanese Army and the Rapid Relief Force, calling for an extension of the ceasefire.
The diplomat, who was not in Sudan when the fighting broke out, was transferred from London to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where he played a key role in efforts to end the fighting.
Africa Minister Andrew Mitchell has warned that ending the ceasefire could lead to a humanitarian catastrophe in Sudan.
“It is imperative that the ceasefire is maintained and the political process is secured,” he told diplomatic think tank Chatham House.
“If we don’t, the humanitarian impact will be immense.”
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/james-cleverly-sudan-britons-foreign-office-khartoum-b2328471.html Britons in Sudan urged to head to airfield ‘immediately’ after ceasefire extended