Chinese embassies in Egypt, Ethiopia, Eritrea assist with evacuation from Sudan
Published: Apr 25, 2023 01:05 PM
Women walk along a street in the south of Khartoum on April 24, 2023. Photo: VCG

Women walk along a street in the south of Khartoum on April 24, 2023. Photo: VCG

Chinese embassies in Egypt, Ethiopia and Eritrea are closely monitoring the security situation, and have sent assistance teams along the border ports to assist Chinese nationals seeking to evacuate from Sudan amid escalating conflict in the country.

Mao Ning, a spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, emphasized on Tuesday that the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) is highly concerned about the safety of more than 1,000 Chinese citizens in Sudan, saying that the ministry and the embassies and consulates in Sudan and neighboring countries are working hard to create conditions to assist the safe transfer and evacuation of Chinese citizens in Sudan. 

"Chinese diplomats will always be with their compatriots in Sudan and do everything possible to ensure their safety," Mao stressed. 

Embassies in Egypt, Ethiopia and Eritrea have reminded Chinese nationals to monitor the security situation, avoid war zones and protect themselves when they evacuate from Sudan, carefully taking consideration of vehicle maintenance, gas and material supplies.

The security situation in Sudan has deteriorated rapidly and Chinese nationals have been evacuated across the Sudan-Ethiopia, Sudan-Egypt and Sudan-Eritrea borders. No reports of casualties of Chinese citizens have been reported so far, according to Mao.

Through the efforts of all parties, most of the Chinese citizens in Sudan have been safely evacuated to Sudan's border ports or neighboring countries in batches and in an orderly manner. Proper arrangements in the next step will be made and for Chinese citizens who are still in Sudan, arrangements will also be made according to their wishes, Mao noted. 

The first group of Chinese nationals have safely evacuated to neighboring countries, according to Chinese Foreign Ministry on Monday. Some Chinese passport holders bordered the bus arranged by the Chinese embassy, according to a video released by CGTN citing Luo Bin, the President of Sudanese Chinese Students' Union.

A Chinese employee stationed in the capital of Sudan, who requested anonymity, is one of the Chinese nationals to have been evacuated. He told the Global Times he had reached the border of Egypt after travelling more than 1,000 kilometers from Khartoum on a bus carrying some 50 Chinese people.

"When we left Khartoum, we headed south avoiding the war zone in the city center and then took a detour north from the west, passing five checkpoints in the Khartoum area. The armed military personnel boarded our bus, but let us go when they confirmed we were Chinese," the employee said.

When talking to the Global Times, he was waiting at the customs to enter the border of Egypt with assistance from the Chinese embassy in Egypt. After staying in Egypt for about two days, he is scheduled to return to China.

"In the past two years, inflation and depreciation in Sudan have been brought under control, and Sudan still has potential for economic development. We also hope that when peace is restored we will be able to go back to seek opportunities."

"Chinese people all felt safe and blessed for being protected by the country," Cui Yujiang, who has lived and worked in Sudan for over 10 years, told the Global Times. Cui has yet to evacuate and is waiting for an evacuation plan from the embassy.

Chinese citizen Zhang Xiangtao and more than 400 Chinese compatriots in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, took nine buses organized by the Chinese embassy and headed north to the Port Sudan, according to Yangcheng Evening News. Zhang said, "Sitting on the buses (organized by the Chinese embassy), I feel very safe!"

According to Chinese Embassy in Ethiopia, assistance teams were sent to Gondar and the Metema port in northwest Ethiopia to help Chinese nationals to evacuate from Sudan. Gondar has the closest airport to the Sudanese border and Metema is a port that links with Gallabat in Sudan, the notice reads. 

The Chinese Embassy in Egypt said a working group was also sent to a port in southern Egypt. The Chinese Embassy in Eritrea will pick up evacuated Chinese in Talata Asher.

People seeking to evacuate are encouraged to report their information and evacuation route to the embassies in advance so as the Chinese embassies can offer more accurate, effective and timely assistance.

On Saturday, the Chinese Embassy in Sudan also released a notice to collect information on whether Chinese nationals wish to leave the country. More than 1,500 Chinese compatriots were in Sudan, according to Wu Xi, director-general of the Department of Consular Affairs of the Foreign Ministry.

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.