The U.S. military successfully completed an evacuation of the American embassy in Sudan amid ongoing fighting, the State Department said Saturday night.
All operations at the embassy have been temporarily suspended, the department said in a statement. President Joe Biden confirmed the evacuation in a statement while saying his administration would continue to assist Americans in Sudan.
“On my orders, the United States military conducted an operation to extract U.S. Government personnel from Khartoum,” Biden said. “I am proud of the extraordinary commitment of our Embassy staff, who performed their duties with courage and professionalism and embodied America’s friendship and connection with the people of Sudan.”
The news comes after U.S. citizens were told to shelter in place as a security precaution amid fighting between The Rapid Support Forces and Sudan’s army.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement the evacuation along with the suspensions of operations at the embassy were due to the growing security risk.
“The widespread fighting has caused significant numbers of civilian deaths and injuries and damage to essential infrastructure and posed an unacceptable risk to our Embassy personnel,” he said.
The country’s military said it had agreed to guarantee evacuation requests made by the United States, Britain, France and China.
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin also released a statement, calling the evacuation a success, and confirmed the efforts were led by the U.S. Africa Command in close contact with the State Department.
“We also thank our allies and partners, including Djibouti, Ethiopia, and Saudi Arabia, which were critical to the success of this operation,” Austin said in a statement.
A travel advisory was sent out on Saturday, saying Americans could be subjected to “armed conflict, civil unrest, crime, terrorism, and kidnapping.”
“The situation is violent, volatile, and extremely unpredictable, particularly in the capital city Khartoum,” the department said in its updated advisory.