During the military conflict in Sudan in April 2023, International SOS together with its on-the-ground partners in the country successfully employed strategic measures to evacuate from Sudan several international assignees from our clients’ organisations.
International SOS received a call from one of our clients, an international organisation operating in Sudan, who raised concerns about the safety of its employees located in Atbara and Gabgaba. Given the volatile situation in the country, it was crucial to assess the risks and develop a strategy to ensure a safe and secure evacuation for the employees.
Right at the start of the military conflict in Sudan International SOS had stood up a special Crisis Management Team at the Assistance Centre in Dubai. Comprised of our in-house security, medical, operations and logistics experts, and supported by a robust network of on-the-ground providers in Sudan and 26 Assistance Centres around the world, the team worked 24/7 to safeguard on-the-ground support and evacuation of our clients from Sudan.
Upon receiving the request for assistance for the stranded international assignees we immediately prompted our crisis management team to assist. The team gathered critical information and provided immediate advice to the employees, emphasising the importance of remaining in a secure location until an evacuation could be arranged. Communication channels were established to maintain constant contact with the employees on the ground, ensuring their wellbeing and sharing updates on the evolving situation with the employees’ authorised person on the client’s side.
Our team collaborated closely with the client's authorised person to explore various evacuation options. After assessing the risks and identifying a suitable evacuation window, our crisis management team meticulously coordinated the movements of the international assignees from their respective locations to a point from where our road convoy evacuated and transported them to Port Sudan. The team ensured that all necessary precautions were taken to minimise risks during the transit.
Upon reaching Port Sudan, we had also organised accommodation at a safe location and arranged for onward transportation of the international assignees from the hotel to the port via bus. With our extensive network and partnerships, we facilitated access to a Saudi warship bound for Jeddah, ensuring a secure and efficient transition out of Sudan.
On behalf of our entire organisation, I would like to again express my thanks to the International SOS team for all of the help and support throughout this situation. The process was extremely professional and efficient. In addition, the continued updates from International SOS gave us a high level of confidence that our international assignees were being evacuated from Sudan in the safest way possible!
- Authorised Person at the client’s side
Upon their arrival in Jeddah, our on-the-ground representatives personally met the employees and transferred them to a pre-arranged hotel. This ensured their immediate comfort and alleviated any additional concerns. To further streamline the evacuation journey, International SOS arranged ground transfers from the hotel in Jeddah to the airport thus ensuring a safe return home and peace of mind after this challenging experience.
The comprehensive support provided by International SOS to the international assignees stranded in Sudan during a volatile military conflict is a testament to the Duty of Care the international organisation established towards their employees deployed worldwide through its partnership with International SOS. The successful evacuation operation and ongoing support exemplified International SOS's expertise in crisis management and its dedication to safeguarding the wellbeing of international assignees, despite the unprecedented circumstances.