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China, India, Pakistan evacuate citizens from Sudan

China, Pakistan, and India on Monday began evacuating their nationals from the conflict-hit Sudan.

Beijing said the country’s Foreign Ministry dispatched a working group to Sudan and “the first batch of Chinese personnel have been safely evacuated to Sudan’s neighboring country.”

“We are doing our utmost to protect the safety of our compatriots in Sudan and come up with a plan for evacuation and transfer,” a ministry statement quoted spokeswoman Mao Ning.

Many countries have evacuated their diplomatic staff and nationals from Sudan as heavy fighting between the army and paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) has entered its second week despite a temporary truce for the Muslim Eid al-Fitr holiday.

At least 413 people have been killed and 3,551 others injured since April 15, when a conflict broke out in the capital Khartoum and other cities between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the RSF, which the military had declared a rebel group.

In the last few months, a disagreement between the army and RSF over military security reform has turned into a hot conflict. The reform envisages the full participation of the RSF in the army, one of the main issues in the negotiation process carried out by international and regional parties for the transition to civilian and democratic rule.

S. Jaishankar, India’s top diplomat said the country launched an operation to evacuate its nations trapped in Sudan.

“Operation Kaveri gets underway to bring back our citizens stranded in Sudan. About 500 Indians have reached Port Sudan. More on their way. Our ships and aircraft are set to bring them back home. Committed to assist all our brethren in Sudan,” Jaishankar said on Twitter.

Authorities in Pakistan said they were working to evacuate its citizens from the African nation.

“We continue to follow the developments in Sudan and work with our Missions in the region to provide relief to Pakistanis there. 427 Pakistanis reached Port Sudan safely and are being lodged before arrangements for their onward journey are coordinated,” the South Asian Muslim-majority nation’s Foreign Ministry tweeted.

Japan is also evacuating its citizens from Sudan.

France has extended help to Tokyo and evacuated Japanese nationals from the conflict-hit African nation.

According to Tokyo-based Kyodo News, the evacuees were transported in Turkish-arranged buses bound for Ethiopia.

Japan has also dispatched three aircraft which arrived in the Horn of African country Djibouti on Sunday for evacuations.

*Shuriah Niazi contributed to the report from New Delhi

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