China makes every effort to protect lives of compatriots in Sudan: FM
Published: Apr 23, 2023 09:31 PM Updated: Apr 23, 2023 10:53 PM
An armed conflict breaks out in the capital Khartoum and other areas in Sudan on April 15, 2023. Photo: from Xinhua News Agency.

An armed conflict breaks out in the capital Khartoum and other areas in Sudan on April 15, 2023. Photo: from Xinhua News Agency.

China attaches great importance to the safety of Chinese nationals and institutions in Sudan and will continue to do its best to protect the lives of more than 1,500 Chinese compatriots in Sudan, said Wu Xi, director-general of the Department of Consular Affairs of the Foreign Ministry, who on Sunday reaffirmed the important directive to safeguard the rights and interests of Chinese nationals as conflicts continue to escalate in capital Khartoum.

On Saturday, the Chinese Embassy in Sudan released a notice to gather information on whether Chinese nationals wish to leave the country, and it also warned them to pay close attention to the situation and strengthen precautions to ensure their safety given the continuous clashes in the locality.

Sudan has witnessed deadly armed clashes between the Sudanese army and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) in Khartoum and other areas since April 15, with the two sides accusing each other of initiating the conflict, according to the Xinhua News Agency.

According to a statement issued by the Sudanese Doctors Syndicate on Saturday, 256 civilians have been killed and 1,454 injured since the outbreak of armed conflict in various parts of Sudan. Thirteen hospitals were bombed across the country and medical workers in 19 hospitals had to be evacuated, said the statement. 

As the situation continues to deteriorate, some international organizations warned that the ongoing conflict not only leads to a severe humanitarian crisis within Sudan but also has the potential to spill over to neighboring countries and regions.

A large number of Sudanese civilians have been forced to flee their homes and seek refuge in other countries. According to officials from the UN World Food Program (WFP), an estimated 10,000 to 20,000 refugees have already entered Chad, the majority women and children. The living conditions of these refugees are extremely difficult, UN officials noted.

China is closely following developments in Sudan. We call on the two sides to stop the fighting as soon as possible and prevent further escalation, and hope that parties in Sudan will increase dialogue and jointly move forward the political transition process, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin told the press conference on Friday.

Chinese nationals in Sudan, especially in Khartoum, are advised to closely monitor the security situation and stay informed of any updates or notices issued by the embassy. 

It is important to remain calm, stay vigilant and take necessary precautions to ensure personal safety, Wu said, noting that the Chinese embassy is in close communication and coordination with relevant parties and will do its utmost to protect the safety and security of Chinese nationals and institutions in Sudan.

Cui Yujiang, who has lived and worked in Sudan for over 10 years, told the Global Times on Sunday that the situation in Sudan became intense since Saturday afternoon with loud gunfire, despite a three-day truce to enable people to celebrate the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr.

He noted that he plans to discuss the situation and the next steps with his friends and colleagues on the Sunday morning as they have all submitted their contact information to the Chinese Embassy in Sudan. "We are not sure yet whether we have to leave the country or not," he said.

A correspondent for the People's Daily stationed in Sudan revealed that the internet in that area has been paralyzed, with intermittent communication with the outside world. "I'm currently assessing the evacuation willingness of Chinese nationals in Sudan, and the challenge lies in how to convey the information I have and the situation I observe here to the outside world," the correspondent said.