United Nations says relocating staff from Sudan

Members of Sudan’s security forces patrol as Muslim worshippers attend Eid al-Fitr prayers marking the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan on June 5, 2019, in Omdurman, just across the Nile from the capital Khartoum. (AFP)

The United Nations is moving some of its staff from Sudan, a spokeswoman said on Wednesday, as the death toll from a crackdown on protesters soared to more than 100.

“We are temporarily relocating non-program-critical UN staff, while all UN operations continue in Sudan,” said UN spokesperson Eri Kaneko.

No details were provided on the number of staffers leaving Khartoum, where there is a large UN presence of 27 entities, mostly UN aid agencies.

The United Nations also runs a peacekeeping mission in Darfur with the African Union, where about 7,200 troops and police are deployed.  

US warns citizens to take shelter

The United States on Wednesday warned its citizens in Sudan to exercise “extreme caution” and prepare to leave the country.

The United States had already in April warned its citizens against non-essential travel and ordered the departure of all but vital US embassy personnel as demonstrations swelled in the capital Khartoum.

Updating its guidance after the army forcibly ended protests, the United States said that the embassy was closed to the public and that US citizens still present should “make plans to leave Sudan.”

“Shelter in place at home or another safe location,” the State Department said.

“Exercise extreme caution if you must go outside.”

UK pulls staff from Khartoum embassy, warns nationals 

Britain warned its citizens on Wednesday against all but essential travel to Khartoum as it pulled all non-essential staff and dependants from its embassy, amid the crackdown on protests in Sudan.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London updated its travel advice for British nationals.

“The FCO now advise against all but essential travel to Khartoum and all other remaining areas of Sudan due to developments in the security and political situation,” it said.

“If you’re in Sudan, you should consider carefully whether your need to remain is essential and consider leaving the country by commercial means.

“As of June 5, the decision was made to withdraw non-essential British embassy staff and dependants from Sudan.”

In turmoil 

Sudan has been engulfed in turmoil since security forces on Monday violently broke up a weeks-long sit-in by protesters demanding an end to military rule.

The Central Committee for Sudanese Doctors close to the protest movement said on Wednesday that at least 101 people had been killed in the crackdown.

Forty bodies have been recovered from the Nile river, they said.

A military council has ruled the country since the ouster of President Omar al-Bashir on April 11, following months of protests against his three-decade authoritarian rule.

Army ruler General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan announced on Tuesday that he was scrapping a plan for a three-year transition period and would hold elections within nine months.

Western powers have warned that snap elections will crush hopes for a democratic transition in Sudan and have called for a return to negotiations.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:55 - GMT 06:55
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