France Evacuates 538 Individuals from Sudan, Including 5 Indians: Report

France has evacuated 538 persons from Sudan by air, of whom 209 were French and 329 were citizens of 41 other nations, including 5 Indians Tuesday, according to French diplomatic sources. After US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that a three-day ceasefire had been reached, the United Kingdom, France, South Korea, and a number of other nations reported that their citizens were leaving.

The French diplomats provided additional information about the challenges involved in carrying out the evacuation. They indicated that the operation is intricate and demanding due to the hazardous security conditions in the area.

According to diplomatic sources, the choice to include citizens of numerous other nations and the fact that all evacuation alternatives (land and air) were left available during the planning stage until the last second when the air bridge was chosen, properly illustrate the operation’s complexity. The mission involved French military soldiers stationed in Africa, especially those in Djibouti. It was carefully planned out in conjunction with allies, partners, and the Djibouti government, whose cooperation was crucial. On the other hand, The French diplomatic sources said, “The air bridge was made possible by the operational prowess of the French Armed Forces and by diplomatic efforts, including calls to both Sudanese sides to assure security conditions for evacuation.

Before launching “Operation Sagittarius” to evacuate foreign nationals from Sudan, French President Emmanuel Macron and Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna contacted Abdel Fattah Al-Burhane, the head of the Sudanese army, as well as his former deputy and current rival, Mohammed “Hemedti” Hamdan Daglo. Following these calls, 150 French troops were deployed for the operation.

On the other hand, According to sources within the French diplomatic corps, prior to the commencement of the air evacuation operation, the French military conducted a preliminary mission to assess the viability of the route between the airport, which is located 20km from Khartoum, and the designated assembly points. The air transport operation began at 6 am on Sunday, and multiple rotations have been carried out since then, each ferrying around 100 passengers.

When French nationals were left behind in Khartoum and unable to attend the assembly locations, French forces occasionally had to go and pick them up on their own. Through this French initiative, other nations are now able to send flights to this airport and evacuate their citizens. France made sure that military troops in Sudan were coordinated to control foreign aircraft landings. The French Navy Frigate Lorraine was also stationed at Port Sudan on Tuesday to aid in the evacuation of a 1700-person UN convoy.