JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia – More than 100 US citizens finally reached the safety of a port in Saudi Arabia on Monday. Eliminating deadly fighting in Sudan. Some were among a second convoy of buses that left Sudan’s war-torn capital Khartoum on Friday, driving 500 miles to reach Port Sudan on the country’s east coast.
On Sunday night, along with about 200 civilians from 16 other countries, they left port aboard the US Navy fast transport ship Brunswick. On Monday morning, after crossing the 200-mile, 12-hour Red Sea, they arrived in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
There was celebration and relief among the weary people who came ashore. They were among about 1,000 US civilians the American government was able to evacuate from Sudan after more than two weeks of chaos as Sudan’s two most powerful men vie for power.
Fighting between the Sudanese armed forces and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) paramilitary group led by rival commanding generals has killed more than 500 people, according to the United Nations, which it hopes is a lower initial estimate.
Despite another formal extension of the ceasefire between the sides over the weekend, shelling and gunfire could still be heard on Monday morning and Sudan’s two largest cities, neighboring Khartoum and Omdurman, were littered with overturned, burnt vehicles and rubble. road
This is the new normal that not only foreign nationals, but Sudanese are desperate to flee their own country. Sporadic violence continued despite a nearly week-long ceasefire, complicating international migration efforts and resulting Congestion and confusion at border crossings in Sudan.
After a Turkish evacuation flight outside Khartoum came under fire earlier in the week, US officials said a bus convoy carrying the Americans left Khartoum for Port Sudan, possibly monitored by drones.
Even after they reached Port Sudan, the Americans were stuck there for more than 24 hours before boarding the Brunswick to escape the country.
“I feel relieved,” Mohammed Farag, a resident of Brooklyn, New York, told CBS News as he disembarked the ship in Jeddah on Monday. Despite the difficulty in getting emails due to communication breakdowns in Sudan, Farag praised the efforts of US Embassy staff from Khartoum, who had to orchestrate the mass deportation of American diplomats and their families after they were deported. Removed over a week ago.
“Thank God we got the (emails), we used it and we’re here,” he told CBS News.
Norvibi, who was just 11 years old, said she was tired and scared after the ordeal of arriving in Saudi Arabia.
“It was very scary, because I was afraid of the army,” he said.
Melez Khaled, another American evacuee from Queens, New York, said he was also “relieved”, adding that he felt “much better than I felt in Sudan”.
Walking along the port of Jeddah, he said he was “terrified” back in the Sudanese capital, where he was “scared to hear gunshots outside your house.”
Khaled said he had seen dead bodies on the streets of Khartoum, and that his bus convoy had been stopped by armed groups for fear of heading towards the coast, because they “might throw you off the bus… you don’t really know, because they all have the same uniform.”
He planned to fly back to the United States directly from Saudi Arabia.
“I feel relieved,” she said. “I’m happy.”
But not every American who sought to flee made it out of Sudan. There is no definitive count of how many U.S. citizens are in the county, but U.S. officials said Sunday that fewer than 5,000 Americans have sought guidance on how to get out.
Two US citizens, including a doctor living in Iowa City, were stabbed to death the day he and his family tried to leave, Killed in the chaos.
Overnight, more anxious people crowded into the holding area at Port Sudan, waiting for the next ship to take them and their families to safety.
If and when they escape, they will push Sudan back, pushing it to the brink of all-out civil war.