Update(1302ET): Sudan is continuing to stare into the abyss of full-blown civil war as the battle for control of the capital of Khartoum between two rival generals - now reaching the two week mark - results in a mounting death toll. Currently, dozens of countries have for days been racing to get their citizens out via military transport planes, ships, and via cross-border land routes into Ethiopia and neighboring countries, but not the United States.
A surprisingly blunt report voicing intense criticism toward the Biden administration has been issued by CNN Friday, which writes, "As the crisis in Sudan continues to unfold, there is mounting anger among Americans who feel abandoned by the US government and left to navigate the complicated and dangerous situation on their own."
CNN further points out that robust evacuation efforts are underway by many other countries. As we detailed below, a C-130 evac flight sent by Turkey even took on small arms fire while landing outside the capital. And the Chinese government has said it has successfully evacuated at least 1,300 of its nationals thus far, with state media confirming evacuation operations ongoing by "land and sea".
"I am incredibly shocked and disgusted by the American lackluster response to the health and safety of their citizens," Muna Daoud told CNN, whose parents were forced to exit via Port Sudan to Saudi Arabia. And CNN follows with this:
Despite a number of nations evacuating their citizens, the US government has continued to say that the conditions are not conducive to a civilian evacuation. All US government personnel were evacuated in a military operation this weekend. US officials have said they are in “close communication” with US citizens and “actively facilitating” their departure from Sudan.
However, CNN spoke with multiple people whose family members are among the “dozens” of Americans who want to leave Sudan, and they said the State Department has provided “barely any assistance” since the deadly violence between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and Rapid Support Forces (RSF) broke out more than a week ago.
Another American stuck in Sudan called the embassy and State Department "useless". "To be honest with you, the State Department was useless, utterly useless throughout this entire period," a man named Imad said in an interview. "We expected the Department to provide some kind of guidance, but the guidance was the template, just shelter in place, no critical information being provided."
Already two American have lost their lives. CNN further presents that more are coming close to getting shot in near-miss situations due to the lack of formal US effort to get citizens safely out:
“The might of our military and resources does not get used to save our lives in war zones,” she said.
When CNN spoke to Daoud, her 69-year-old father and 66-year-old mother – both of whom are US citizens – were making the “harrowing” nine hour bus journey from Khartoum to Port Sudan.
“They had to find a bus this morning after waiting outside on the side of the road,” she said. Daoud said that the bus had been stopped three times by RSF soldiers “and at one checkpoint they held my father at gunpoint because they believed he was in the Sudanese Army.”
“They told all the men to step off the bus and searched and questioned them,” but they kept her father at gunpoint, she described to CNN.
“My mum believed he was going to be taken or shot. Luckily they decided to let him go,” Daoud said.
Meanwhile, Chinese media pundits are mocking and gloating...
China's Foreign Ministry has confirmed it is sending the PLA Navy to help evacuate Chinese nationals from Sudan, with defense ministry spokesman Tan Kefei announcing Thursday that that more navy ships are on their way.
Already, Chinese evac ships have been spotted at Sudan ports in the Red Sea:
The Chinese military dispatched naval vessels to evacuate Chinese personnel in #Sudan. Chinese nationals line up for boarding the vessels, some hold Chinese national flag. This is the third time the Chinese navy takes the mission of evacuation of Chinese nationals overseas. pic.twitter.com/OuPxUGEYLb— Qingqing_Chen (@qingqingparis) April 26, 2023
"Due to the recent continually deteriorating security situation in Sudan, the Chinese army sent naval vessels to Sudan on April 26 to evacuate and transport our citizens to protect the lives and property of Chinese personnel in Sudan," Tan said, also confirming over 1,300 Chinese citizens have already fled, and that more are exiting through land borders. "So far, more than 1,300 Chinese citizens have been safely transferred, some have left Sudan on Chinese warships and boats, and some are on their way out," Tan detailed.
Germany and other European nations too...
Jordan has also been among the countries organizing military transport flights to and from the restive capital.
It's funny how the United States can invade countries at drop of a hat.. but rescue citizens? Apparently not. A prime question which remains concerning many of those among the 16,000 Americans (many of them dual nationals no doubt) is: where's Joe Biden?
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Heavy explosions and gunfire have continued to rock parts of Sudan’s capital Khartoum and its twin city Omdurman despite a ceasefire. At least 500 people have been killed, including reportedly two American citizens, as fighting reaches two weeks amid the power struggle between two rival generals representing Sudanese Armed Forces and the paramilitary group Rapid Support Forces.
"Many areas that saw very active fighting at the beginning have become quieter than before. Yet, I cannot say there is a total ceasefire in those places," a Khartoum resident told Al Jazeera on Friday. "I don’t think anyone has gone to school in the last 14 days. I don’t think anyone has been to a hospital."
A massive foreign evacuation effort involving many countries sending military transport planes has continued for the better part of a week. The United States administration, however, has said that it is not conducting a large-scale evacuation operation for the estimated 16,000 US citizens who live in Sudan, many of them dual nationals who have made the country their home.
But this international rescue effort appears to now be coming under threat, after new reports that a Turkish evacuation plane came under gunfire while landing at Wadi Seyidna airport outside Khartoum. The aircraft, a C-130, had its fuel supply system damaged by the ground gunfire.
The Turkish defense ministry confirmed the damage but without naming a culprit. "Light weapons were fired on our C-130 evacuation plane … Our plane landed safely. Although there are no injuries to our personnel, necessary repairs are being carried out on our aircraft," it said.
The national army said the Rapid Support Forces of Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo mounted the attack on the plane as it was landing, but the RSF rejected the accusation as part of the national army "spreading lies".
"Our forces have remained strictly committed to the humanitarian truce that we agreed upon since midnight, and it is not true that we targeted any aircraft in the sky of Wadi Seyidna in Omdurman," the RSF said. Fighting has been witnessed elsewhere in the country, which could signal a slide toward full-scale civil war, as the AFP is reporting 74 dead in two days of fighting in the West Darfur capital of El Geneina.
Sudan army and a rival force agree to extend an existing ceasefire even as battles rage.— AFP News Agency (@AFP) April 28, 2023
Fighter jets have pounded paramilitaries in Khartoum while deadly fighting and looting flared in Darfurhttps://t.co/W2PQp0X2M1 pic.twitter.com/KwpzkAwkSj
The rival military factions reached an agreement to extend their ceasefire from midnight local time (22:00 GMT on Thursday) for an additional three days, but by many accounts it's barely holding, if at all.