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Compiled by Narissa Subramoney

Deputy digital news editor

Sudan evacuations: South Africans arrive safely in Egypt

Government will pay for South African flights back home.

The Department for International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) says two busses carrying South Africans from troubled Sudan have safely arrived at the border with Egypt.

“We have officials from the SA Embassy in Egypt to receive them and facilitate their entry into Egypt,” said DIRCO spokesperson Clayson Monyela.

Monyela further confirmed that government will pay for South African flights back home.

“The support of everyone, including @GiftoftheGivers and the government of Egypt, is acknowledged and appreciated,” tweeted Monyela.

At least 12 more nationals are expected to leave Sudan on Tuesday. “With this, everyone we know of will be accounted for,” confirmed Monyela.

ALSO READ: In times of crisis, SA is definitely bigger than the sum of its parts

“The fighting hasn’t stopped, so it remains a dangerous operation. The airport is closed, and routes are not risk-free. The government is doing everything possible to get our nationals out.”

Monyela said Khartoum was a no-fly zone after the airport was damaged and closed.

“Our priority is to get everyone out,” he said.

Conflicts in Sudan continue to intensify, shutting down airports and other state buildings.

Gift of the Givers’ Imtiaz Sooliman told Talk Radio 702 they had arranged an additional bus for four South Africans who were left behind.

The organisation said it had also received a call from the Brazilian Embassy, to assist nine people who were also stranded.

“Filipinos called us; they have four, there’s another Palestinian family and we are opening the bus to whoever wants to come,” said Sooliman.

ALSO READ: ‘The streets are dangerous’: SA calls for calm and peace in Sudan

United Nations expecting mass evacuation

AFP reports that up to 270 000 people could flee Sudan into neighbouring South Sudan and Chad, the United Nations said Tuesday, as a US-brokered 72-hour ceasefire took effect in the conflict-ravaged country. 

Laura Lo Castro, the UN refugee agency’s representative in Chad, said some 20 000 refugees had arrived there, adding that the agency expected up to 100 000 “in the worst-case scenario”.

Her colleague in South Sudan, Marie-Helene Verney, said: “The most likely scenario is 125 000 returns of South Sudanese refugees into South Sudan, and 45 000 refugees”.

Ukraine says it has since evacuated 138 people, including 87 citizens, from Sudan to Egypt. While Pakistan’s foreign minister said on Tuesday that 700 nationals had been evacuated to safety.

ALSO READ: 77 South Africans still stuck in Sudan, govt’s evacuation plans hampered by fighting

“Today, another convoy carrying 211 Pakistanis dispatched from Khartoum has arrived in Port Sudan,” Minister of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said in a statement.

The ministry said around 1 500 Pakistanis were in Sudan, whose safety and security was being closely monitored.

Sporadic gunfire rang out in parts of the Sudanese capital Khartoum on Tuesday despite a US-brokered agreement between the warring sides to a ceasefire for 72 hours to pave the way for talks on a more lasting truce.

At least 427 people have been killed and more than 3 700 wounded, according to UN agencies. More than 4 000 people have fled the country in foreign-organised evacuations that began on Saturday.

Multiple nations have scrambled to evacuate embassy staff and citizens by road, air and sea from chaos-torn Sudan, where fighting between the army and paramilitaries has killed hundreds.

Additional reporting by Marizka Coetzer and AFP


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