Ministry of Defense evacuates multiple Dutch, others from Sudan
A Defense C130 Hercules transport aircraft with Dutch nationals and evacuees from other countries on board left Sudan during the early hours of Monday morning. The plane is on its way to Jordan, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
Dutch marines carried out the evacuation. In recent days, the Netherlands explored the possibilities of evacuating Dutch people from the country, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. On Sunday, a slot at the airport became available. The Ministry informed the Dutch in Sudan and kept in close contact with them about the transfer to the airport.
Employees of the Rapid Consular Support Team (SCOT) will meet the people evacuated from Sudan in Jordan. The SCOT is a team of Foreign Affairs employees that can be deployed quickly in areas where many Dutch people need help. The evacuees will later travel to the Netherlands from Jordan. In the meantime, the Ministry of Defense and Foreign Affairs are continuing to work on evacuating people who could not get on the first flight from Sudan, Foreign Affairs said.
Several Dutch people already landed in the East African country of Djibouti on Sunday. They were on a French flight, and SCOT employees received them. A Foreign Affairs spokesperson could not say how many people were on the flight. The two SCOT employees arrived in Djibouti on Saturday evening and set up a reception area for the evacuees there, among other things.
Minister Wopke Hoekstra (Foreign Affairs) said on Sunday that the first group of Dutch people had been evacuated from Sudan. They flew to Jordan on a French plane. According to Hoekstra, a “handful” of Dutch people were on board the plane. Whether they have arrived in Jordan, a spokesperson for the Ministry could not say early on Monday morning.
In mid-April, heavy fighting broke out in Sudan between the government and militias in the capital of Khartoum. There is also fighting in various places outside the area. Earlier, the Ministry announced that over 150 Dutch people in Sudan had reported for evacuation. Participation in the evacuation is voluntary, Hoekstra said in a letter to parliament.
Reporting by ANP