Biden Orders Evacuation of US Government Personnel From Sudan, Shuts Down Embassy

US President Joe Biden announced that the American military conducted an operation to extract the country's government personnel from Khartoum as the violence in Sudan continues to rage.

In his announcement on Saturday, the President said the operation was conducted on his orders and said that "I am proud of the extraordinary commitment of our Embassy staff, who performed their duties with courage and professionalism and embodied America's friendship and connection with the people of Sudan".

"I am grateful for the unmatched skill of our service members who successfully brought them to safety. And I thank Djibouti, Ethiopia, and Saudi Arabia, which were critical to the success of our operation," Biden said in a statement released by the White House.

American flag
American flag Wikimedia Commons

The President also announced that Washington is temporarily suspending operations at the US Embassy in Sudan, adding that he "continues to monitor receiving regular reports from my team on their ongoing work to assist Americans in Sudan, to the extent possible".

"This tragic violence in Sudan has already cost the lives of hundreds of innocent civilians. It's unconscionable and it must stop. The belligerent parties must implement an immediate and unconditional ceasefire, allow unhindered humanitarian access, and respect the will of the people of Sudan," Biden added.

Also on Saturday, more than 150 citizens, diplomats and international officials were evacuated by sea to the Saudi Arabian port of Jeddah.

They were mostly citizens of Gulf countries, as well as Egypt, Pakistan and Canada, reports the BBC.

While the UK has said that it is considering ways to evacuate its staff, the Canadian government has told its citizens in Sudan to "shelter in a safe place".

Joe Biden

The developments come as the violent clashes between Sudan's Armed Forces (SAF) and the paramilitary Rapid Action Forces (RAF), which first erupted on April 15, still continue as of Sunday.

Several ceasefires that had seemingly been agreed by both sides were ignored, including a three-day pause to mark the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr, which started on Friday.

The World Health Organization says more than 400 people have been killed. But the death toll is believed to be much higher as people struggle to reach hospitals.