France evacuates 538 people from Sudan


France has evacuated 538 people from Sudan by air, out of whom 209 were French and 329 nationals of 41 other countries on Tuesday, according to French diplomatic sources.
The United Kingdom, France, South Korea and a host of other countries confirmed that they were pulling out their nationals after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced that a three-day ceasefire had been agreed. The French diplomatic sources further explained the difficulties in the evacuation operation. They said the evacuation is complex as the security situation on the ground is unsafe.
The decision to include nationals of many other countries and the fact that all evacuation options (ground and air) were kept open in the planning stage, until the last moment when the air bridge was selected aptly describes the complexities of the operation, as per the diplomatic sources.The operation involved French military assets in Africa, particularly the French forces based in Djibouti. It was closely coordinated with allies, partners and the Djibouti authorities whose cooperation has been decisive.
The air bridge was possible thanks to the operational capabilities of the French Armed forces and to diplomatic efforts, including calls to both Sudanese parties to ensure security conditions for evacuation,” added the French diplomatic sources.
French President Emmanuel Macron and his foreign minister Catherine Colonna called Abdel Fattah Al-Burhane, head of the Sudanese army, and his former deputy turned rival, Mohammed “Hemedti” Hamdan Daglo before sending 150 French troops into action before initiating “Operation Sagittarius”, the daring rescue of foreign nationals from Sudan.
French Armed Forces first carried out a reconnaissance mission between the airport (20km from Khartoum) and the assembly points to ensure the feasibility of the itinerary.