Canada ends military role in evacuation from Sudan

Canadian troops deployed to help evacuate citizens from war-torn Sudan will soon return home, and warships set aside for possible evacuation by sea will also resume regular operations, the federal government announced Friday.

Global Affairs Canada (GAC) released a statement saying the evacuation effort will now “transfer to assisted departures and commercial transportation.”

About 400 Canadian citizens, permanent residents and their families have managed to get to safety since the violence erupted in mid-April.

Two Canadian Air Force C-130J transport planes made emergency flights from Khartoum last week, ferrying 550 people, including foreign nationals, out of the country.

These planes are also being redeployed to their original mission – helping NATO move war-related supplies and equipment into Ukraine.

“Most CAF units and elements will be redeployed to Canada, repositioned elsewhere in Europe and the Middle East, and will proceed with other priority missions around the world,” the statement said.

HMCS Montreal and MV Asterix stood off Port Sudan, along with other Allied warships. They will now resume their journey to the Pacific, where they will form part of an enhanced Canadian military presence.

Global Affairs said a small military assistance team will be left in the region to support diplomats for as long as needed.

The situation in Sudan remains “very dangerous” – GAC

For Canadians still considering leaving Sudan, the federal government has advised extreme caution.

“The security situation in Sudan remains very dangerous,” the statement said.

“Travel itineraries should be carefully evaluated before deciding to travel. Canadians wishing to leave Sudan by road might consider traveling to Port Sudan, where commercial connecting options may be available. Canada strongly recommends checking entry requirements for connecting destinations before travelling.

A baby has his arm measured to check for malnutrition at a refugee camp for people who crossed into Sudan in Renk County, South Sudan, Wednesday, May 3, 2023. Sudan has descended into chaos since the fighting broke out in mid-April between the country. two great rival generals and there is growing concern for those trapped and displaced by the fighting. (Peter Louis/Associated Press)

Hundreds of people have been killed in Sudan since fighting broke out on April 15 between the forces of army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and those of his former deputy, General Mohammed Hamdan Daglo, who commands the Rapid Support Forces (RSF).

On Thursday, US President Joe Biden signed an executive order that expands his power to impose sanctions on those responsible for “threatening the peace, security and stability of Sudan”.

“The violence unfolding in Sudan is a tragedy – and it is a betrayal of the Sudanese people’s clear demand for civilian government and a transition to democracy,” Biden said in a press release. “It must end.”

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