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UK to continue Sudan rescue operation with flight from Port Sudan

The UK will run a flight from Port Sudan as it continues its evacuation mission after officially ceasing the operation from an airfield near Khartoum, the Government has said.

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said rescue efforts, which were previously focused on the Wadi Saeedna site near the Sudanese capital, would be moved to the east of the nation.

Some 2,122 people on 23 flights have been flown out of the war-torn country from the airfield since fighting began but more than a thousand UK nationals may remain.

A further journey will take off on Monday from Port Sudan, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) said on Sunday.

It comes as Sudan’s army and its rival paramilitary said on Sunday they will extend a humanitarian ceasefire a further 72 hours.

The decision follows international pressure to allow the safe passage of civilians and aid, although it has not stopped clashes continuing to break out.

Mr Cleverly said: “The UK has now airlifted over 2,100 people to safety from Sudan in what has been the largest and longest evacuation of any Western country.

“I want to thank all of those working to deliver this evacuation and ensure as many people as possible are brought to safety.

“Evacuation flights have ended from Wadi Saeedna but our rescue efforts continue from Port Sudan.”

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: “I am grateful to our armed forces who have ensured there was an alternative to Wadi Saeedna and who are currently supporting FCDO and Border Force staff to facilitate the rescue effort.

“HMS Lancaster and the RAF are also there in support of HMG.”

The UK will continue to advocate for a long-term end to the conflict along with its international allies, Mr Cleverly said amid a faltering ceasefire.

Fighting has broken out again in Khartoum despite the extension of an armistice between the country’s two warring generals having been brokered in the early hours of Friday.

The British Government previously announced it would end evacuation efforts from the capital on Sunday, with the last flight having taken off from Wadi Saeedna at 10pm local time.

The Government later agreed to include NHS doctors without UK passports on its final journeys amid criticism over the scope of its eligibility criteria for evacuation.

Ministers answered calls to widen the remit, which had been limited to British nationals and their immediate family, after a significant decline in the number of UK citizens coming forward.