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Namibians In Sudan Are Safe!

Namibian government to ensure the safety of its citizens trapped in the war-torn country, Sudan. Namibians who have been confirmed living in...

Namibian government to ensure the safety of its citizens trapped in the war-torn country, Sudan.
Namibians who have been confirmed living in Sudan are safe and in the process of being evacuated from the war-torn country.
Earlier it was reported that some of the Namibian pilots are among of those Namibians who are still trapped in the country.  This comes amid violent clashes between the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) which have been raging in the capital, Khartoum.

At least 412 people have been killed so far, with thousands attempting to flee the country due to the clashes. “Since the war broke out, we have been communicating with our embassy in Addis Ababa, who have been informing us about three Namibians in Sudan, and they have been safe.

“We have a diplomatic relationship with Sudan, and we have an ambassador accredited to Sudan, but we don’t have a resident embassy in Sudan. Our ambassador in Addis Ababa is the link between Namibia and Sudan,” said Nandi-Ndaitwah, the Namibian International relations minister.

The international relations ministry is working with the United Nations, and forms part of the evacuation team, she said. “The Namibians in Sudan are still to be airlifted to a safe location, but we have been monitoring when they were being moved from risky places to safe places. But so far Namibians known to be there are safe,” she said.

Nandi-Ndaitwah said as a continent, they believed the situation in Sudan would be resolved but many people are losing their lives and being forced to flee the country. “It’s disappointing because when we adopted Agenda 2063, we aspired to end all wars and conflict, but unfortunately more guns started firing. “We do not need to give up, we just need to draw other strategies on how to maintain peace on the continent and if we can really try to think in the same direction. As our president always says, Harambe, there’s no way we can be disturbing peace.

“It’s very disappointing what is happening, but we are not going to give up our continent,” she said. Nandi-Ndaitwah said there is no democracy without elections, which is the only solution for Sudan. “Currently, the African Union is working with the regional body to deal with the situation and how to speed up the process of bringing up the election in Sudan, for a [civilian] government to be elected.”

Police spokesperson Kauna Shikwambi said there are no Namibian police officers deployed to Sudan or South Sudan. “The last contingent ended its mission in 2018 and since then none were deployed,” she said. According to Ministry of Defence and Veterans Affairs spokesperson colonel Petrus Shilumbu, there is one military officer who is currently safe in Khartoum under United Nations protection.

Shilumbu said members of the Namibian Defence Force, who are on a peace-keeping mission in South Sudan, use transit, through Khartoum. The military officer left Namibia on 16 April and was supposed to leave for Juba on 17 April, but could not do so because of the severity of the situation, according to Shilumbu.

According to BBC News, diplomats and nationals from the United Kingdom, United States, France and China are to be evacuated from Sudan by air as fighting continues, a statement from the Sudanese army says. The US government sent in three CH-47 Chinooks for the evacuation of American citizens and allies from Sudan.

“Saudi Arabia confirmed it had evacuated more than 150 people from Sudan on Saturday.” Among those evacuated to Jeddah were diplomats and international officials, the Saudi Arabian foreign ministry said. It said it had safely transported 91 Saudi citizens, as well as 66 others from various other countries, including Qatar, Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates and Canada. They were evacuated by sea, state TV channel Al-Ekhbariyah reported.

“It is unclear where in Sudan they were evacuated from,” says BBC. BBC News said people in Khartoum who spoke to the BBC described intense fighting in the city centre on Saturday. The UK government said it was “doing everything possible to support British nationals and diplomatic staff in Khartoum”.

Khartoum’s international airport has been closed due to the violence, with foreign embassies unable to bring their citizens home. The conflict has entered its second week despite both sides – the army and the RSF – agreeing to a three-day ceasefire to mark the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr, starting from Friday.

Fighting, however, continued on Saturday. A former foreign minister, Mariam al-Mahdi, who is sheltering in Khartoum, told the BBC the ceasefire was “not taking at all”. “We are out of electricity for the last 24 hours. We are out of water for the last six days,” she said.

Medical teams are being targeted in the fighting, she said. “There are rotting bodies of our youth in the streets.” Spain’s defence minister said six planes were being sent to Djibouti as part of the country’s efforts to evacuate Spanish nationals and others.