Netherlands sends two aircraft to Jordan to prepare for Sudan evacuation
The Netherlands is sending two transport planes to Jordan in case Dutch citizens need to be evacuated from Sudan, said Foreign Affairs Minister Wopke Hoekstra on Wednesday. Staff from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Defense are also being dispatched to Jordan.
"We are preparing for all kinds of scenarios," said Hoekstra. He emphasized that it is only a preparatory move. A great deal remains unclear, like whether the airport in Khartoum can still be used for an evacuation as fighting is still ongoing there.
The rapid response team providing consular services for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is going to Jordan. The number of diplomats and soldiers participating in the response was not disclosed. Both aircraft were expected to depart early Wednesday evening. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is in contact with about fifty Dutch nationals present in Sudan.
"In these preparations, the Netherlands is cooperating as much as possible with international partners. Also to call on the fighting parties to stop the violence. Because the security situation does not allow for evacuation at the moment," said a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
At the end of Wednesday afternoon, another 24-hour ceasefire was put into effect in Sudan, Reuters reported. It is still unclear whether the warring parties will adhere to it. A ceasefire of the same duration was also declared a day earlier, but it was immediately violated.
Earlier in the day, German forces broke off an attempt to evacuate civilians from Sudan, according to Der Spiegel. That happened because of fighting near the airport. In the capital Khartoum, heavy fighting is taking place between the regular army and a paramilitary unit. It is very dangerous to go out on the street.
Reporting by ANP