96 people were evacuated from Sudan by two Italian military planes on Monday as Western, Arab, and Asian countries hurried to get their residents out of the African nation amid an upsurge in violence.
At least 427 people have been killed, hospitals and other services have been disrupted, and residential areas have become war zones as a result of the escalation in hostilities between the military and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) paramilitary group on April 15.
Thousands of foreigners, including diplomats and relief workers, are now stranded in Sudan due to the country’s quick descent into conflict.
83 Italian citizens and 13 passengers of other nationalities were aboard the two military planes when they took off from Djibouti, having first been evacuated from Khartoum.
Around 1825 GMT, a Boeing KC-767 made its maiden landing at Rome’s Ciampino airport. The second aircraft was scheduled to arrive later that evening.
The rescued individuals and the military escorts were seen exiting the aircraft and shaking hands with government representatives, including Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani. Among the rescued individuals were youngsters and Italy’s ambassador to Sudan.
“We are very happy to be here… there were a lot of delicate moments,” Ambassador Michele Tommasi told journalists.
“It was not an easy (rescue) operation. However, one that had excellent results,” Tajani said, adding that all of the Italian citizens that had asked to be flown out of Sudan were brought to safety.
He claimed that while 19 Italians had been safely transported to Egypt two days prior, other Italians—NGO employees and missionaries—had chosen to remain in the nation.
Tajani added that he had spoken to the heads of both the Khartoum army and the RSF on Sunday and urged them to find a solution, including a cease-fire.
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