The Kenyan government is planning to evacuate about 3,000 citizens currently living in or visiting Sudan, should the current situation in Khartoum escalate into a humanitarian crisis.
The country’s Ministry of Foreign and Diaspora Affairs has set up a multi-agency technical team, that is currently monitoring the situation and is preparing to support Kenyans in Sudan through humanitarian assistance and emergency evacuation if need be.
Kenya’s Principal Secretary for the State Department of Diaspora Affairs Roseline Njogu said the state’s diaspora in Sudan and their relatives in Kenya can reach out to the ministry in case of any emergencies through provided emergency lines (+24 9900194854/ +2540114757002) as the government works out a plan to return them home.
“We are committed to ensuring that all Kenyans are safely rescued and brought home should the situation warrant it,” Ms Njogu said at a news conference on Monday.
Sudan hasn’t known peace for the last four days after clashes broke out in major cities between the country’s army and paramilitary forces in a supremacy battle, even as several leaders in the region call on the warring factions to peacefully resolve their difference.
No Kenyan casualty reported
So far, at least 100 people have been killed as the conflict rages on and property of unknown value destroyed. No Kenyan casualty has yet been reported and the country’s ministry is advising Kenyans to continue staying indoors as they monitor the situation.
The evacuation might however not be possible now as several airlines have suspended flights to and from Sudan adding to the closure of the Khartoum International Airport.
“A number of things have to be in place for an evacuation to be done. For example, air space has to be open as we have to be able to move safely,” Ms Njogu said.
Evacuating citizens will however be the last resort, as Kenya is working other channels to facilitate peaceful negotiations between the warring factions in Sudan.
Kenya’s President William Ruto will be part of the three-member high-level delegation, along with South Sudan’s Salva Kiir and Djibouti’s Ismail Omar Guelleh, who will mediate the leaders of the two warring factions in Khartoum.
The delegation nominated by the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (Igad), is set to engage the two leaders ‘at the earliest possible time’, according to a dispatch issued after an Igad heads of state and government emergency meeting held on Monday.