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Home ยป You Have 24 Hours To Catch An Evacuation Flight Out Of Sudan, Deputy PM Tells British Nationals

You Have 24 Hours To Catch An Evacuation Flight Out Of Sudan, Deputy PM Tells British Nationals

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British nationals in Sudan have 24 hours to catch a flight before they are stopped, the deputy prime minister has said.

The flights will end at 6pm UK time on Saturday, Oliver Dowden confirmed.

Speaking to reporters on Friday afternoon, he said more than 1,500 people had now been flown out of the country.

But he said there had been a “significant decline in British nationals coming forward”, so the government would cease the flights.

Countries are in a race against the clock to evacuate their citizens from Sudan after the two warring factions extended a ceasefire by 72 hours yesterday.

The initial three day ceasefire was due to expire at 11pm UK time on Thursday. Despite this agreement, there are continued reports of heavy fighting in the capital Khartoum and the western region of Darfur.

Thousands have fled the country in recent days with food becoming scarce, electricity cut off across much of the capital and other cities, and many hospitals shut down.

At least 512 civilians and fighters have been killed so far in the clashes, according to the country’s health ministry, with 4,200 others injured.

Asked if ending the flights would mean abandoning British nationals who haven’t been able to make it in time, Mr Dowden said: “Every single British national that has come forward and their eligible dependents has been put safely onto a plane.

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Sudan rescue flights ‘to end in next 24 hours’ “We are seeing those numbers declining significantly. And just like other countries, as those numbers decline, we have put an end date on this.

“What I would say is that even beyond that, we will maintain consular support in Sudan, particularly at the exit route. So both to the north, to south and particularly Port Sudan itself.”

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Referring to his advice would be for those left behind, Mr Dowden said: “Well, first of all, we have been very clear that this would be a time limited operation.

“We gave a very clear signal over 24 hours ago that people should expect that as the ceasefire comes to an end, we would be winding down the number of flights.

“We are now saying to those people, you have another 24 hours if you are eligible to make your way to the airport and we will get you on a plane, just as we have done for every other person that has come forward who is eligible, making it the longest and largest evacuation effort of any Western country.”

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Mr Dowden also said the Government was aware of NHS doctors being turned away from evacuation flights.

He said: “We are in touch and engaging rapidly with the Sudanese Doctors Association to see what further support we can provide for them.”

He added that after the 6pm deadline for flights, the Foreign Office will maintain “consular support at the other exit routes and in particular at Port Sudan”.