August 15, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan’s Foreign Ministry has ruled out that the joint Sudanese-Libyan troops would carry out evacuation operations for Sudanese nationals who were caught under fire in several areas of the Libyan city of Benghazi particularly in Qunfudah.
- Fighters from the Fajr Libya (Libya Dawn) militia hold their positions during clashes with forces loyal to Libya’s internationally recognised government near the Wetia military air base, west of the capital Tripoli, on 29 December 2014 (Photo: AFP/Mahmud Turkia)
Last Friday, five Sudanese nationals were killed in Qunfudah during a military operation while the fate of 100 others remained unknown.
In press statements on Monday, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Gharib Allah al-Khidir said the trapped Sudanese nationals could only be evacuated by the Libyan army and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) as well as the civil society organizations and not via any Sudanese aviation.
He pointed that a team from the Sudanese consulate in Benghazi has met with the Libyan Foreign Ministry office in Al-Baida town to urge them to speed up the evacuation operation.
Khidir didn’t name capitals through which the Sudanese nationals would be transferred; saying what is crucial now is to evacuate them to safety.
Benghazi has been the focus of fighting between Islamist militias and troops loyal to Libya’s government.
Libya has become increasingly divided since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, with competing governments and rival militias seeking to gain territory and influence.
The government began an offensive against the Islamic State (ISIS) in Sirte in May and said recently that it had made its largest gains to date.