The Turkish government is taking all the necessary actions for the evacuation of its nationals from Sudan where clashes between the rival groups have intensified, the Turkish foreign minister has said, repeating Ankara’s concerns over the prolonged armed tension in the African country.
On April 20, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan spoke over the phone with the leaders of the two rival sides, the presidency announced. He spoke with Sudan’s Transitional Sovereignty Council Chairman Abdul Fettah al-Burhan and Rapid Support Forces (RSF) Commander Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo, according to the statement.
Erdoğan called on both leaders to end their armed conflict and return to dialogue for peace in the country. He also stressed the need for keeping humanitarian corridors open and securing the operations of the airport so that Turks can be evacuated from the country.
“God willing there will be a ceasefire [today]. We have made our preparations. We will bring our citizens who wish to return home after the opening of the airspace,” Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said late on April 19 at a program in Manavgat district of Antalya.
There are a couple of thousand Turks stranded in Khartoum. The Turkish Foreign Ministry urged them to remain indoors and in their houses and get in contact with the Turkish diplomatic mission in case they are in need of something. The clashes between the Sudanese army and Rapid Support Forces intensified since the weekend.
“Both sides are our brothers. Why shall we take sides? We are in talks with both sides to stop the clashes,” Çavuşoğlu said. The two parties have issued statements about a potential ceasefire before the Eid al-Fitr, he recalled, expressing his hope that it will be held this time.
“We are calling our citizens in Sudan one by one. They should stay where they are until the ceasefire is secured. They should notify our embassy if they need anything,” he stressed. With the ceasefire, the airspace will be opened, the minister said, adding an evacuation plan will be implemented right after this.
The Foreign Minister informed that many countries, including some European ones, have been in touch with Ankara for the evacuation of their citizens from Sudan.
“Do you know why? Because we have brought 100,000 of our citizens from 145 different countries back to our country. In Afghanistan, panic started after the Taliban’s takeover, and we have evacuated not only our nationals but also foreign country citizens. We also brought our citizens from Ukraine after the war started,” Çavuşoğlu recalled. “Because Türkiye is a trustworthy country.”
Source: Hurriet Daily News