US prepares to evacuate Sudan Embassy
April 21, 2023

In response to the ongoing conflict between two opposing factions in Sudan, which has resulted in unrest and instability in the region, the Pentagon has dispatched more soldiers and equipment to Camp Lemmonier in Djibouti to prepare for the potential evacuation of US staff from the Sudan embassy.

The announcement of the deployment came after an attack on a US embassy convoy in Khartoum earlier this week. However, the Pentagon has not disclosed any precise information regarding the type of additional resources being sent to the area. The State Department has been contemplating an evacuation of government employees from the Sudan Embassy and has been transporting them from their homes to a secure, centralized location in preparation for this eventuality.

Due to its close distance to Sudan, Djibouti has been selected as the location where any evacuation mission would be initiated. Nevertheless, the ongoing situation presents numerous obstacles and security threats since the airport in Khartoum is not operational, and the available overland routes are lengthy and perilous even in the absence of the present conflict.

If it’s not possible to locate a safe landing area in or close to Khartoum, an alternative could be to transport the evacuees to Port Sudan, located on the Red Sea, by driving for 12 hours over the perilous roads covering the 523-mile (841-kilometer) journey. Alternatively, another choice might be to travel to the adjacent country of Eritrea, but that option is also problematic because the country’s leader, Isaias Afwerki, is not sympathetic to the United States or Western nations as a whole.

The most recent instance of embassy personnel being evacuated by ground transportation from the United States was in July 2014, when a sizeable group of US military automobiles transported staff from the Tripoli embassy in Libya to Tunisia. More recent evacuations have occurred, particularly in Afghanistan and Yemen, but these have primarily been carried out using air transportation.

The current state in Sudan is unstable and ambiguous, prompting the US government to take measures to guarantee the security of its embassy staff. Dispatching soldiers and gear to Djibouti is deemed necessary for precaution, and the US government is carefully observing the situation and will act accordingly to safeguard its citizens and objectives in the area.

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