Move now, James Cleverly warns Britons trying to flee Sudan conflict

Move now, James Cleverly warns Britons trying to flee Sudan conflict


The military is racing to rescue citizens amid fears the fighting will resume once the 72-hour pause expires on Thursday night

Britons trying to flee Sudan’s civil war were today told to “move now” in a race against time as the Foreign Secretary warned that evacuation flights might become too dangerous after Thursday night.

James Cleverly said there was no guarantee that the 72-hour ceasefire agreed between the warring parties in Khartoum will be extended once it expires at midnight in the Sudanese capital.

He said that meant it was impossible for him to guarantee that evacuation flights — which have carried more than 500 Britons and some foreign nationals to safety — would be able to continue.

“If you are planning to move, move now,” Mr Cleverly said on Thursday. “We cannot predict what will happen when that ceasefire ends.

“But what we do know is that it will be much, much harder, so what we are saying to British nationals is if you are hesitant, if you are weighing up your options, our strong advice is to go while the ceasefire is up and running.” He added: “There are planes, there is capacity, we are able to lift you out. I’m not able to make those same assurances once the ceasefire has ended. It’s really, really difficult to predict what might happen over the next few days. Now is the time to move.”

Mr Cleverly added: “We are already seeing there has been sporadic re-escalation of violence in Khartoum. There is no guarantee that this ceasefire will make it through to the scheduled endpoint and there is definitely no guarantee that it can be extended, though of course the UK and our international partners are pushing to achieve that.

“We have to understand that this is an active war zone, that providing guarantees, providing certainties is not possible for anyone.”

First Flight Carrying Britons Evacuated From Sudan

He said it was not possible to provide protected convoys from Khartoum to help Britons reach the Wadi Seidna air base used for the evacuation flights, pointing out that a coach organised for Turkish nationals had been fired on and that safe routes did not exist.


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