Irish government sending team to evacuate citizens from Sudan

Smoke fills the sky in Khartoum, Sudan Credit: PA

The Irish government has confirmed it is sending a team to evacuate its citizens from Sudan.

It comes as hundreds of people have died in a conflict between the Sudanese army and paramilitary group known as the Rapid Support Forces.

Following a cabinet meeting on Sunday, the government approved the deployment of an Emergency Civil Assistance Team (ECAT) mission to assist with the process of evacuating Irish citizens and their dependents from the crisis.

Up to 12 defence forces personnel would be deployed initially to Djibouti as part of the ECAT mission.

They were due to arrive in Djibouti on Sunday.

The Irish government indicated that the duration of the mission would be dependent on the progress that could be made, the security situation on the ground and decisions on extraction by partners.

They said they were in contact with Irish citizens who had registered with the embassy and every effort was being made to assist them.

Irish premier Leo Varadkar said an estimated 150 Irish nationals were in Sudan.

“The situation in the Sudanese capital Khartoum has got worse in the last few days, and violence is being reported across the city,” he said.

“The Irish defence forces personnel and department of foreign affairs officers being deployed will make every effort to provide advice and assistance to the 150 or so Irish nationals in Sudan.

“The situation on the ground in Sudan remains extremely volatile and I wish the ECAT and defence forces team every success in this mission.”

Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheal Martin said the decision was a “continuation of the substantial, intensive work that the department of foreign affairs has been engaged in since this recent outbreak of violence in Sudan”.

“Above all, our primary aim is to offer our citizens every assistance through what has been an extremely difficult and challenging time,” he said.

Irish premier Leo Varadkar said the situation in the Sudanese capital Khartoum ‘had got worse in the last few days’ Credit: Marwan Ali/AP

A spokesperson for the department of foreign affairs said citizens should follow the Embassy of Ireland in Kenya on Twitter (@IrlEmbKenya) for updated advice.

“If urgent, the embassy’s out-of-hours consular assistance phone line can be contacted at +254 716 353 999, and the department of foreign affairs can be contacted at +353 1 408 2000,” they added.

The UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak confirmed that British diplomats and their families have been airlifted out of Sudan in a "complex and rapid" operation.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know.