Thai airforce gets ready to rescue Thais in Sudan

A C-130 military transport is one of two planes the air force expects to use in the evacuation from Sudan, photo via Bangkok Post.

Amidst the ongoing violent conflict in Sudan, the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) is getting ready to rescue Thai nationals currently stuck in the country.

The RTAF has readied an Airbus A340-500 and a C-130 aircraft for the operation. Spokesperson AVM Prapas Sornchaidee said that RTAF commander ACM Alongkorn Wannarot has expressed deep concern for the Thai citizens in Sudan.

Measures taken include liaising with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) to discuss their safe evacuation. The RTAF has also sought the necessary permissions to cross international airspace for this mission, Bangkok Post reported.

Clashes in Sudan, which began on April 15, are raging between forces loyal to two top military commanders – army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and his deputy, Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, who is also the head of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF). The generals had joined forces to stage a coup in 2021, resulting in the current power struggle that has engulfed the country.

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It has been reported that a majority of Thai nationals in Sudan are Thai-Muslim students attending university in the capital city of Khartoum. There are about 300 Thais living in Sudan, some 200 of whom are students at the university.

Yesterday, it was reported that the Southern Border Provinces Administrative Centre (SBPAC) has established a help centre for Thais who are currently in Sudan.

The SBPAC set up the centre to aid 210 Thai students who are currently facing difficulties in Sudan, as fighting continues to escalate in the nation’s capital, Khartoum. The centre is located at the SBPAC headquarters in Yala. It is working to meet students’ needs amidst the situation, and update their families about their situations. Requests for help can also be made through the 1880 SBPAC hotline.

Chanathan Saengphum, SBPAC’s Deputy Secretary-General, explained that the purpose of the assistance centre is to address the needs of the affected students while simultaneously updating families back in Thailand on the current state of affairs. In addition, the SBPAC is coordinating with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) and other relevant agencies to maintain communication and monitor the requirements of students on the ground.

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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.

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