Biden Orders Embassy Evacuation Amid Sudan Turmoil

On Saturday, Joe Biden ordered the evacuation of the U.S. embassy staff in Khartoum, Sudan, due to escalating violence between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the rival Rapid Support Forces. The President took to Twitter, stating, “Today, on my orders, the United States military conducted an operation to extract U.S. Government personnel from Khartoum in response to the situation in Sudan. I am grateful for the commitment of our Embassy staff and the skill of our service members who brought them to safety.”

Following the evacuation, Biden released a statement calling the civil war in Sudan “unconscionable” and urging the conflicting parties to cease hostilities immediately. He emphasized the necessity of humanitarian aid and respect for the Sudanese people’s will in determining their country’s future.

With commercial air travel and feasible overland routes unavailable, the U.S. military stepped in to evacuate fewer than 100 embassy personnel safely. Despite reports of assistance from the Rapid Security Forces, Under Secretary for Management Ambassador John Bass clarified that they only refrained from firing on U.S. troops during the evacuation.

Senior U.S. officials disclosed the temporary suspension of embassy operations in Khartoum due to the intensity of the fighting and concerns over access to essential supplies. The evacuation was conducted with the assistance of U.S. military forces, which utilized three MH-47 Chinooks for the operation. Lieutenant General D.A. Sims, the U.S. military’s Joint Staff Director for Operations, praised the operation as “fast and clean,” noting that service members spent less than an hour on the ground in Khartoum.

In the wake of the embassy evacuation, Biden expressed gratitude for the “extraordinary commitment” of embassy staff and the “unmatched skill” of the service members involved. He also mentioned receiving regular updates on efforts to assist the remaining Americans in Sudan “to the extent possible.” However, it remains unclear whether American citizens in the country have requested evacuation.

The Department of Defense has been working closely with the State Department to develop potential assistance for Americans seeking to leave Sudan. These options include utilizing intelligence and reconnaissance capabilities to observe routes and detect threats, employing naval assets near the Port of Sudan to help Americans who reach the port, and establishing a deconfliction cell focused on the overland route at the U.S. Africa Command in Stuttgart.

As the conflict between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces continues, the World Health Organization reported that at least 413 people have died, with injuries estimated at 3,551. In addition, the U.S. government confirmed the death of one American private citizen, killed in crossfire during the fighting.