Abu Dhabi (Reuters) – The United Arab Emirates evacuated its citizens, other nationalities and humanitarian cases from Sudan by plane on Saturday, part of the flow of people fleeing a conflict which broke out two weeks ago.
Around 128 evacuees, including British and U.S. citizens, landed in the capital Abu Dhabi where they were greeted by officials.
The UAE will host the evacuees until they can be transferred to their own countries, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said.
“Khartoum is starting to be empty. We no longer felt secure, people were breaking into homes, they would break and loot,” said Nagham Hayati, a Sudanese woman who had left Sudan on the plane.
Hundreds of people have been killed and thousands wounded in Sudan since April 15 when a long-simmering power struggle between the army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) erupted into conflict.
“The situation is very bad, we didn’t expect it … There was fire in the streets, fire in the houses, in the cars. After two, three days of this, the RSF had a shortage of food, water and power, so they started to invade homes,” said Sudanese national Marwan Ghandour on landing in Abu Dhabi.
The UAE said it was committed to serving the interests of the Sudanese people, stressing the importance of intensifying ceasefire efforts and a return to an agreed political framework.
Until the fighting broke out, Sudan had been engaged in an internationally-backed transition toward democratic elections.