British troops have arrived in Sudan and evacuations are underway

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British soldiers board the C-130 bound for Sudan. Photographer: LPHOT MARK JOHNSON Copyright: UK MOD © Crown copyright 2023

The UK Government have asked 4000 stranded Brits currently in Sudan to make their way to the airfield near Khartoum “as soon as possible.”

Personnel of 3 Commando Brigade and Joint Force Head Quarters have deployed in support of the FCDO Non-combative Evacuation Operation to remove British personnel from Sudan due to the escalating violence there.

The Government has asked British passport holders to make their way to the Wadi Saeedna airfield, about 40km north of Khartoum, to be processed for a flight out of the country, which is in the grip of a power struggle between two generals.

The British Government have said it has begun the evacuation of UK citizens (thought to be approximately 4000) who have been trapped in Sudan by the violence that has already killed hundreds.

Reports suggest conditions are dire in Khartoum with no electricity or water supplies and dead bodies in the streets.

40 Commando Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Oliver Denning briefs the morning of departure. Photographer: Sgt Paul Oldfield RAF Copyright: UK MOD © Crown copyright 2023

The British soldiers undertaking the mission to evacuate UK citizens received their early morning briefs, prepared and departed RAF Akrotiri on a C-130 Hercules on Tuesday.

On Tuesday evening Prime minister Rishi Sunak announced the first flight had already left for Khartoum, with more flights following overnight and into Wednesday.

A C-130 Hercules leaves for Sudan. Photographer: LPHOT MARK JOHNSON Copyright: ©UK Ministry of Defence CROWN COPYRIGHT, 2023

UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has also ordered the warship HMS Lancaster to sail to Port Sudan, where British forces are setting up an alternative evacuation point to the airfield evacuations.

Mr Wallace said: “As of this morning the processing centre, the reception team of Border Force and Foreign Office are now up and running on the airfield in Sudan. We now have approximately 120 British forces at the airfield supporting the delivery of the evacuation of nationals and dual nationals through the airport.

“Currently the airfield is run by the German military and, depending on how long they stay, we will stand ready and prepared to take over from them should they decide that their evacuation is finished.”

The BBC have reported that babies and pensioners as old as 70 were on board the UK’s first evacuation flight out. 

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