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14 June, 2024
 
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Cypriots stuck in Sudan as evacuations turn dangerous

Greek commandos mobilize after two injured as humanitarian convoys face attack threats in war-torn country

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Greek commandos are part of a mission to Egypt which will include the evacuation of Cypriot citizens in Sudan, where humanitarian convoys organized by western countries are under the threat of attacks.

Cypriot Foreign Minister Constantinos Combos was in contact on Sunday with his French, British, and Egyptian counterparts regarding the situation in Sudan and issues arising for Cypriot expatriates living in the country.

Evacuations of citizens of the US and UK have already taken place, according to media reports, with some 30 British nationals, mainly diplomats with their families, reportedly finding refuge in hotels in the Republic of Cyprus.

Two Greek military aircraft with special commandos and medics flew to Egypt to evacuate Greek and Cypriot citizens stuck in Sudan, where two have already be been injured in a previous mission

But missions were under the threat of attack over the weekend, with reports saying gunfire across Khartoum included an attack on a French convoy where two Greek citizens were injured.

Greek Foreign Minister Nicos Dendias issued a statement saying two military aircraft, a C-130 and a C27J, along with 15 special commandos and medics were traveling to Egypt in order to evacuate Greek and Cypriot citizens stuck in Sudan.

Cypriot foreign ministry spokesperson Theodoros Gotsis, who spoke on state radio on Monday morning, said a ceasefire was fragile, adding that both speed but also safety were two main factors that would determine when citizens could get out.

An official statement on Sunday said “the first group of Greek citizens, including the two injured, left Sudan, with the help of France, and is on a flight with destination Djibouti.”

But the evacuation of Cypriots and other nationals was still pending as the EU Foreign Affairs Council was scheduled to meet on Monday in Luxembourg to discuss the issue.

According to the Cyprus News Agency, officials on the island have activated an ESTIA Special National Plan for the reception and repatriation of foreign citizens from the crisis area through the territory of the Republic of Cyprus.

But Gotsis said there have been no requests from foreign countries as of Monday morning.

Sudan suddenly collapsed into warfare when rival Sudanese military factions clashed over security and other issues.

TAGS
Cyprus  |  Greece  |  Sudan  |  Egypt  |  evacuation  |  Cypriot  |  commandos

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