OAN Roy Francis
UPDATED 10:30 AM – Wednesday, April 19, 2023
The death toll in Sudan has reached 270 as the agreed to ceasefire failed, and the country has entered its fifth day of fighting.
As the fighting continues in the country, several nations have said that they are unable to evacuate their citizens from the country.
Japan was the first nation that announced its plans to evacuate its citizens from the country.
On Wednesday, Hirokazu Matsuno, Japan’s top government spokesperson said that about 60 Japanese citizens were in Sudan, and that many of them, which included diplomats and aid officials, faced “severe” supply shortages.
According to Kyodo News Agency, Japan’s Foreign Ministry asked its military to rescue the citizens from Sudan. However, with the heavy fighting taking place In the capital of Khartoum, and the main international airport being under heavy fire as the Rapid Support Forces paramilitaries try to take the facility, experts are pointing out that it is highly unlikely any rescue mission will be successful.
Germany had also attempted to rescue its citizens, which number around 150, from Sudan but the mission had to be halted due to the heavy fighting.
According to the Spiegel news magazine, the Luftwaffe Air Force had deployed three A400M transport planes to Sudan on Wednesday. However, after the planes had landed in Greece to refuel, the plan was abandoned due to the increase in fighting in the capital and around the airport, and they were rerouted back to Germany.
Russian officials have also addressed the fighting in Sudan, saying that the Russian embassy is in contact with Russian citizens who are trapped due to the fighting, they also said that they will try to evacuate them “as soon as possible.”
The United States State Department has urged Americans in Sudan to shelter in place explaining that there are currently no plans for an evacuation.
On Tuesday the U.S. Embassy stated that “due to the uncertain security situation in Khartoum and closure of the airport, there are no plans for U.S. government-coordinated evacuation.”
The U.S. State Department has reportedly set up a special taskforce to monitor the conflict in Sudan.
“The State Department has established a Sudan Military Conflict Task Force to oversee the Department’s planning, management, and logistics related to events in Sudan,” a spokesperson told CNN.
EJ Hogendoorn, former State Department senior adviser to the U.S. Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan, said that Ambassador to Sudan John Godfrey is heavily engaged in peace talks with both parties in Sudan as he is sheltered in place in Khartoum.
“We have all kinds of systems established for him to be able to do so,” he said. “In addition to trying to get them to de-escalate, I imagine that they must also be thinking about possible evacuation of staff and certainly the safety of their staff, trying to coordinate with other embassies.”
He went on to say that the compound where the Americans are sheltered is safe unless there is a “full frontal assault” on it.
“Unless there’s a full frontal assault on the U.S. Embassy compound, people are safe. I would imagine that they would want to have a presence for as long as is justifiable in an effort to try to help and to try to resolve the fighting,” he said. “There are indications that command and control is starting to deteriorate, especially for the RSF, so even if the United States is able to kind of put pressure on these people, they may not be able to actually stop the fighting quickly.”
Secretary of State Antony Blinken also said that he is coordinating with different countries in order to channel “the shared determination among the international community to get to a ceasefire.”
“I’ve been on the phone with counterparts from the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, to make sure that we’re coordinating carefully,” he said. “Our team as well has been in very close contact with the African Union, with other international organizations – again, to make sure that everyone is coordinated and that we are channeling the shared determination among the international community to get to a ceasefire as quickly as possible and to put Sudan back on the track of talks, negotiations, again, to restore civilian-led government in Sudan.”
The fighting in Sudan has entered its fifth day on Wednesday with no signs of slowing down as the two generals, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan of the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF), and Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo who leads the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) paramilitary group, fight for control of the country.
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