Time running out as British nationals have until midday to reach Sudan airfield

April 28, 2023 11:20 PM AEST | By PAMEDIA
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British nationals seeking to flee Sudan have until midday to reach the evacuation airfield after the Government announced that flights out of the war-torn country will cease on Saturday.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office is urging those left in Sudan to travel to the Wadi Saeedna site before 12pm local time in order to be processed for the last journey.

Some 1,573 people on 13 flights have been evacuated from the airfield near the capital of Khartoum but thousands more British citizens may remain.

It comes amid criticism of the pace of the British evacuation, which was bought more time after a three-day extension to the ceasefire between warring generals was agreed on Thursday.

Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden denied the Government will effectively “abandon” those who have been unable to make the potentially dangerous journey to the airfield with its decision to cease flights.

The Government is also facing renewed pressure to broaden the eligibility criteria for evacuation after it cited a decline in the number of UK passport holders coming forward as its reason for ending its rescue operation.

Sudan unrest
Shadow foreign secretary David Lammy urged the Government not to ‘turn away’ British residents without passports (PO Phot Arron Hoare/Ministry of Defence/PA)

Downing Street has so far rejected calls to widen the criteria beyond British citizens and their immediate family.

Concerns have been raised that the current approach could see families split up or some members left behind, with Labour calling on ministers to use the longer window to rescue others.

Following the decision to end evacuation flights on Saturday, shadow foreign secretary David Lammy urged the Government not to “turn away” British residents without passports, including NHS doctors reportedly trapped in the conflict zone.


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