Chinese navy evacuates more than 670 nationals from conflict-hit Sudan to Saudi

Evacuees wave Chinese national flags when passing the security check area this week. l WU KANGCI

Evacuees wave Chinese national flags when passing the security check area this week. l WU KANGCI

Published Apr 28, 2023


Two Chinese People's Liberation Army naval vessels have evacuated 678 people from conflict-hit Sudan and arrived at Jeddah Islamic Port in Saudi Arabia on Thursday afternoon. They are now on their way to evacuate the second batch of people from Sudan.

Among the first batch of the evacuees, 668 are Chinese nationals and 10 are foreigners.

This is the third overseas evacuation mission of the Chinese navy, following the evacuation operations in Libya in 2011 and Yemen in 2015.

The two naval vessels are the 43rd Chinese naval escort task forces in the Gulf of Aden and waters off Somalia – guided-missile destroyer Nanning and comprehensive supply ship Weishanhu.

The two ships immediately set sail to Port Sudan after receiving the evacuation mission and arrived at the port on Wednesday. The force consists of one ship-borne helicopter and more than 490 troops, among which dozens are special operation soldiers.

Upon their arrival at Port Sudan, soldiers of the two vessels soon cleared a security warning area at the dock and set up areas for assembly, registration, security check and boarding. The special operation forces arm guarded the site in full gear.

A bus fleet carrying the first batch of evacuees arrived at the dock at about 4.40pm local time. Some of them cheered in excitement: "Long live the motherland!"

Additionally, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said on Thursday afternoon that over 1 300 Chinese nationals had been evacuated from Sudan, including some who are on their way out of the country.

A small number of Chinese nationals remain outside the Sudanese capital and the Chinese government would continue to provide help to them, Mao added.

Deadly armed clashes between the Sudanese army and the Rapid Support Forces in Khartoum and other areas have taken place since April 15. At least 512 people have been killed and over 4 000 others injured in the clashes, Sudan's Health Ministry said on Wednesday.

* This article was originally published by CGTN.