UK to run extra evacuation flight from Sudan as rescue efforts continue

The RAF planes used until yesterday took off from Wadi Seidna Air Base, but tomorrow’s flight will leave from Port Sudan International Airport (Picture: Royal Navy)

The UK is to run an additional flight to evacuate British citizens from Sudan after announcing an end to the operation yesterday.

An extra plane will take off from Port Sudan International Airport tomorrow afternoon.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office said it will allow for the evacuation of a limited number of UK nationals who remain in the North African country.

While flights previously left from Wadi Seidna Air Base, those came to an end when the last plane departed at 10pm yesterday.

Those wishing to leave tomorrow have been asked by the FCDO to travel to the British Evacuation Handling Centre at the Port Sudan airport on May 1 before 1200 Sudan time to allow for processing.

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said: ‘The UK has now airlifted over 2,100 people to safety from Sudan, in what has been the largest and longest evacuation of any western country.

‘I want to thank all of those working to deliver this evacuation and ensure as many people as possible are brought to safety.

‘Evacuation flights have ended from Wadi Saeedna but our rescue efforts continue from Port Sudan. We continue to do everything in our power to secure a long-term ceasefire, a stable transition to civilian rule and an end the violence in Sudan.’

British nationals have been travelling to Cyprus from Sudan before flying back to the UK (Picture: Reuters)

Deputy prime minister Oliver Dowden previously said operations would cease following a ‘significant decline’ in the number of British nationals seeking to flee the war-torn country.

Yesterday, the BBC reported that all NHS doctors are now eligible to catch flights out of the country.

It comes after a U-turn by the Government, which initially stated the flights were only open to passport holders and their immediate families.

A husband and wife who both work for the health service reportedly missed the last evacuation flight yesterday, and had been searching for an alternative way of getting out the country.

Sarra Eljak, 38, her husband Mustafa Abbas, 44, and their four children were sheltering yesterday in the city of Wad Madani, more than 220km south east of the Wadi Seidna air strip.

Mustafa Abbas, left, and Sarra Eljak, third from left, with three of their children (Picture: PA)

Despite the dangers of being left behind, they said it was too risky to make the journey to the evacuation site with their children Danya, 12, Menna, 11, Anne, seven, and Mohammed, six months.

Ms Eljak said: ‘I can’t take this risk with my children. They should consider people with families. I don’t want to put my kids’ life in danger.’

It is unclear whether the family’s plans would be changed with the announcement of the extra flight, as they were aiming to catch a boat to Saudi Arabia from Port Sudan – an 800km journey from their home.

The power struggle between the army and Rapid Support Forces (RSF) erupted on April 15 and disabled an internationally backed transition toward democratic elections.

At least 512 people have been killed and close to 4,200 wounded, according to the UN, which believes the real toll is much higher.

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