France leads EU efforts as Sudan allows evacuation of foreigners

Sudan's de facto president and commander-in-chief of the army, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, has agreed to the evacuation of civilians and diplomatic representatives from the country.

On Saturday, an army spokesperson announced that the US, UK, France and China would start evacuating from the capital Khartoum "in the next few hours" with military transport planes.

Belgium has also started preparations for evacuating its citizens, a source told Flemish broadcaster VRT. Belgium is working with France, which is leading the European evacuation efforts, and does not have a plane of its own in the region.

Al-Burhan said he would "facilitate and ensure" the evacuation and give countries "the necessary support to ensure it". A Saudi delegation has already been evacuated from the eastern city of Port Sudan, the spokesperson added.

RSF troops, led by vice-president Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, and the regular army of General al-Burhan clashed last week. The World Health Organisation reported on Friday that more than 400 people had already been killed.

A truce was largely respected in the capital Khartoum on Friday night, a journalist from news agency DPA reported, with "sporadic" clashes. However, violence resumed in the morning.

The heaviest fighting is taking place in Khartoum, a city of 5 million people. There, fighter jets are carrying out airstrikes, tanks are driving through the streets and shootings are taking place in densely populated districts. Most residents have been locking themselves at home, going out only to get food or flee the city.


A column of smoke rises behind buildings near the airport in Khartoum © AFP

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