DFA: 86 Filipinos seeks to leave Sudan as clashes intensify

Manila, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said on Thursday that at least 86 Filipinos so far have sought repatriation out of Sudan.

This came after violent armed clashes between Sudanese forces continue in Khartoum.

In a text message to Philippine News Agency, DFA Undersecretary Eduardo Jose de Vega said that the Honorary Consulate in Khartoum is coordinating with the Philippine Embassy in Cairo, which holds jurisdiction over Filipinos in Sudan, to safely extract the 86.

The official said the DFA would fund the repatriation.

“The embassy is finding ways because it is impossible to fly out of Sudan and they would have to use land transportation since all airports are closed),” he said speaking in Filipino in a separate television interview Thursday.

“The challenge here is that the land travel from Khartoum to Egypt would take nine hours, but that’s the only way possible at present,” he added.

De Vega said the embassy is also verifying the report that one Filipino has been hit by a stray bullet and has reportedly recovered.

He told that there are more than 400 Filipinos currently living in Sudan.

The crisis started with armed clashes between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF), loyal to the head of the military government, and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) in the capital Khartoum on April 15, with the latter claiming it had taken control of the Khartoum International Airport, Merowe Airport, Al-Obeid Airport and the presidential palace.

The RSF is an independent Sudanese military force that grew out of the Janjaweed militia that fought in a conflict in the Darfur region.

The United Nations said it has been involved in talks aimed at a transition from the military rule in place since the 2021 military coup to a civilian government.

The World Health Organization reported that since the fighting began, about 300 people have been killed and over 3,000 injured.