Canberra, May 3 (IANS) An air force mission has successfully evacuated 36 Australians and their families from conflict-ravaged Sudan, Foreign Affairs Minister Penny Wong said on Wednesday.
Wong confirmed that the group was taken from Sudan to Cyprus in the early hours of the morning on board a plane from the Australian Defense Force (ADF), reports Xinhua news agency.
“Unfortunately, we still have Australians on the ground, and we’ll continue to engage through our consular team with the Australians who are on the ground, and I urge people to make sure they are registered,” Wong told the local media.
“This brings to, I think 191 Australians that we’ve assisted or have been able to secure passage out of the country since the crisis began.”
She said that the government was hopeful of launching further evacuation flights but nothing could be guaranteed amid a “worsening” security situation in the African country.
“The security situation in Sudan is very dangerous, and it is volatile, and as you know we have been doing all we can to assist Australians with the support of our partners, bearing in mind we don’t have people on the ground in an embassy in Sudan,” said Wong.
A growing number of countries have evacuated citizens from Sudan since fierce clashes broke out between the Sudanese army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces on April 15.
The deadly clashes have so far killed 550 people and injured 4,926 others, according to the latest figures released by Sudan’s Ministry of Health.