Thai government acts fast to evacuate nationals from Sudan

Image Credit: Bangkok Post

The government of Thailand is making arrangements to evacuate Thai citizens from Sudan as swiftly as possible, utilising nearby airports such as Cairo Airport in Egypt and the American Air Force Base in Djibouti. This decision follows increasing concerns over the security situation in Sudan, with fears growing for the safety of the estimated 300 Thai nationals residing in the country.

Deputy government spokeswoman Rachada Dhnadirek confirmed the decision, which was made during a meeting led by National Security Council secretary-general Supoj Malaniyom. With the security situation around Khartoum airport being uncertain, airports in neighbouring countries, including Djibouti, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia, are to be deployed to facilitate evacuation flights.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will work closely with relevant authorities to organise evacuation flights for Thai nationals. The Royal Thai Air Force will provide an aircraft to evacuate an initial group of 91 Thai-Muslims, including citizens from the Deep South, directly from Sudan. The flight will take off once authorities have negotiated a secure flight path in and out of the conflict-ridden country.

In addition to coordinating flights, the Southern Border Provinces Administrative Centre (SBPAC) will be responsible for the repatriation of students, including the transfer of their study credits from their schools. A specialised unit will be set up by the SBPAC to assist the students in Sudan and their families in Thailand, offering support via the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Families seeking information and assistance can reach the unit through the 1880 hotline.

During the meeting, Gen. Supoj called for a crisis approach to be adopted by all involved authorities when executing the evacuation. The increasing urgency for assistance has led to a call from a Thai student in Sudan for the government to expedite the evacuation as fighting escalates and food supplies become scarce.

Intense clashes broke out in Sudan on April 15 between forces loyal to two generals – army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and his deputy, Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, commander of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF). The two had jointly seized power in a coup in 2021. The World Health Organization has reported over 420 casualties and over 3,700 injured as a result of the conflict across the country.

Several nations, including the United States, United Kingdom, France, China, and Saudi Arabia have already begun the evacuation of their citizens from Sudan. The Thai government’s prompt action aims to minimise the risk to its nationals and ensure their safe return home as soon as possible.

Thailand News

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Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.