Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: U.S. preparing troops for Sudan embassy evacuation

The Pentagon is preparing to position U.S. forces in Djibouti in anticipation of a potential mission to evacuate U.S Embassy personnel in Khartoum, two people familiar with the military plans said. (https://news.yahoo.com/u-preparing-position-troops-case-145151148.html) The security situation in Sudan’s capital has cratered over a week of fighting, as two rival generals battle for control of the country. The heavy fighting in Khartoum has left many stranded in the city of 5 million people, including embassy staff who are sheltering in place at the compound eight miles from the international airport. Wendy Sherman, the deputy secretary of State, privately told lawmakers Wednesday that troops would be moving to Djibouti, home to Camp Lemmonier, to provide the administration an option to launch an evacuation operation. Sherman stressed that the mission would whisk only embassy staff to safety and that there won’t be a military-led general evacuation of American citizens. A military evacuation seems increasingly likely. The airport, located in central Khartoum, is closed but would be inoperable even if it reopened due to damage from bombardment and fighting. The roughly 70 U.S. staff at the embassy have no options to leave Sudan on their own without immense risk to their safety.

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