Spain has begun this Sunday the complex operation of evacuation of its citizens from Sudan. An Air Force plane with Spaniards and other citizens caught up in the conflict have already taken off from Khartoum, the Sudanese capital, as reported by the Foreign Ministry.
On board they already fly to Djibouti 30 Spaniards following an operation coordinated by the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, and Defense.
The planes have just taken off from Khartoum. @EjercitoAire with our citizens and @EmbEspSudan on board. Other European and Latin American citizens also travel. No incident in the transfer of our convoy.
We call for a ceasefire and to resume dialogue in Sudan.
– José Manuel Albares (@jmalbares) April 23, 2023
The Spanish military plane took off from Khartoum shortly before 11:00 p.m. (peninsular time) with around a hundred passengers of eight nationalities. There are Portuguese, Italians, Poles, Irish, Mexicans, Venezuelans, Colombians and Argentines, as well as Sudanese, as reported by Foreign Affairs.
In addition to those evacuated this Sunday, another group of Spaniards voluntarily decided to remain in the country or leave it by other means, while some had already managed to leave the country before the implementation of this device. The Government counted at least 80 Spanish Cuídanos in the African country.
The heads of both Ministries, Jose Manuel Albares and Margarita Robles, respectively, have been in constant contact throughout today to ensure the success of the operation. The transfer has been carried out from the Spanish Embassy in Khartoum, “without any type of incident thanks to a security device to guarantee the integrity of the transfer for the members of the convoy,” Foreign Affairs said.
The Ministry of Defense had assured that the transfers would begin this Sunday, the same day that other countries have announced that they will carry out the repatriation of their nationals.
The Mexican foreign minister Marcelo Ebrardhas reported that five Mexicans and two relatives have boarded “safe and sound” on one of the flights organized by Spain, thanking Albares for his support. Likewise, he has pointed out that another Mexican will be evacuated tomorrow with the support of the UN.
The Spanish Army planes that had flown to djiboutian to evacuate some 80 people, between Spaniards, Europeans and South Americans who are trapped in Sudan, were waiting for a safe space to land and start the operation.
On Saturday the Defense Minister, Daisy Roblesconfirmed that Spain has sent six military aircraft (four flew on Friday and another two yesterday) to carry out the evacuation, since the situation in Sudan “is very complicated” and pointed out that the Government is “very pending” to carry out the evacuation at the moment in which the ceasefire is effective and real.
In the operation, he had also transferred material, such as vehicles, in case it was necessary to carry out the evacuation by road, as well as personnel from the Army and special operations.
“The planes are there prepared so that, as soon as the ceasefire is respected, that operation can be carried out that it will not be easy because Sudan’s airport is closed,” said the defense minister hours before the operation.
From Djibouti, they have had the support of the personnel of the Orion Detachment, which has become an advanced base for the deployment of the Operation to evacuate Spanish civilian personnel in Sudan after the outbreak of the armed conflict.