Africa Conflict North Africa Republic of Ireland Sudan

Irish Mission Aiding Sudan Evacuations Withdrawn

More than 200 Irish citizens and their dependents have been evacuated from Sudan, as the rescue mission draws to a close, the Irish government has said.

The Emergency Civil Assistance Team (ECAT), involving Irish Defence Forces personnel, was deployed on Thursday.

Some 209 people have been evacuated from Sudan, according to the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs.

The majority of Irish citizens taken from the country in recent days have been carried on UK flights into Cyprus, the department added.

Tánaiste (Irish deputy prime minister) Micheal Martin, said the ECAT operation in Cyprus and Djibouti would now be withdrawn.

The mission, named Operation Piccolo, has involved Department of Foreign Affairs officials being stationed in the countries with the aim of assisting in the evacuation.

Ireland has also received help from France and Spain to airlift Irish citizens, residents and visa holders to safety.

It comes as a ceasefire in the conflict-stricken north African country appeared to falter, with residents reporting heavy explosions and gunfire breaking out again in the capital Khartoum.

In a statement, Mr Martin thanked the ECAT “and all those involved in our consular response”.

He said Ireland would maintain an enhanced multi-location presence in support of citizens remaining in Sudan through consular missions, including those in Egypt, Kenya and Jordan.

Members of the Defence Forces’ Special Operations Forces unit and the Army Ranger Wing supported the operation.

“The team were also on standby to provide medical assistance if required,” the Defence Forces said in a statement.

Source : BBC